HEATCON Designs Affordable Option for Aerospace Companies Struggling to Perform Costly Composite Repairs

july 2 2012

Autoclaves are used commonly in the aerospace industry for curing composite materials during the manufacture and repair of complex parts. But the equipment is expensive and many companies without autoclaves must turn away customers. HEATCON Composite Systems now offers a portable autoclave known as the RepairClave, which provides a less expensive alternative for curing many parts formally reserved for traditional autoclaves.

“The use and structural complexity of composites in the manufacturing of newer aircraft has increased dramatically in the past few years,” said Eric Casterline, president of Seattle-based HEATCON, which has specialized in the production of heat management equipment used in curing composites for aerospace applications for more than 30 years. “Often when composite parts on these airplanes and helicopters need to be manufactured or repaired, technicians must use expensive autoclave curing processes in order to achieve a sound structure.”

While the repair of many composite structures may typically be performed using only hot bonders, the vacuum-generated pressure may not reach a sufficient level for more complex repairs, which could require 50 psi or higher.

“The patented, easy-to-use RepairClave provides aerospace facilities with the capability to perform these higher-pressure repairs at a much lower price than that of a traditional autoclave,” said Tom Lane, managing director of HEATCON Composite Systems (UK).

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