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no more autoclaves; a new procedure to heat and fuse laminates together

Old 01-20-2020, 09:59 AM
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I was working on a project at Blue Origin (Amazon's Jeff Bezos version of SpaceX) and they use a massive oven to cure composites. However, they also use a massive "3d Printer" like apparatus to layout resin infused carbon material into the tool (or mold) prior to going into the oven. The resin is activated by the heat in the oven. They vacuum bag the piece in the tool (while in the oven), and also carefully measure the temperature of the piece during cure with dozens of thermocouplers. Extremely expensive equipment. The oven was massive...roughly 50'x150' by 30' high. It also become more and more difficult to limit the heat of the piece, the thicker the layup, which creates a "runaway" condition and will destroy the piece, and potentially the mold.
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by noli View Post
.

gigantic autoclave




tell us, will your boat fit into that tube?
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:44 PM
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.



my boat is so small, it'll fit in my back pocket....muhahahaha

I believe they put airplanes' fuselages in those gigantic autoclaves






.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ziemer View Post
I was working on a project at Blue Origin (Amazon's Jeff Bezos version of SpaceX) and they use a massive oven to cure composites. However, they also use a massive "3d Printer" like apparatus to layout resin infused carbon material into the tool (or mold) prior to going into the oven. The resin is activated by the heat in the oven. They vacuum bag the piece in the tool (while in the oven), and also carefully measure the temperature of the piece during cure with dozens of thermocouplers. Extremely expensive equipment. The oven was massive...roughly 50'x150' by 30' high. It also become more and more difficult to limit the heat of the piece, the thicker the layup, which creates a "runaway" condition and will destroy the piece, and potentially the mold.
correct that is not necessarily 3D printing but rather an automated method of placing pre-preg tows of CF tapes or strands individually on the mold surface.. The pre-preg laminates that have the resin already catylized are stored on a fridge till needed. Once the laminate is placed it is bagged or capped in a two piece mold and placed in an autoclave where pressure can be applied and the heat is put put through a controlled ramp up and down cycle. It is a highly technical process . . . slightly more advanced then my shop lol

must have been cool working in that environment. Were you involved in making these pieces? I need a 3D thing to build boats lol . . .
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:12 PM
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It was with my previous company. We were working on suppression for the oven in case of a runaway condition.

Was super cool though. Their new manufacturing building at the Cape is massive!

We also did a bunch of work for SpaceX. Got to see a bunch of really cool stuff over the last few years.


Originally Posted by glassdave View Post
correct that is not necessarily 3D printing but rather an automated method of placing pre-preg tows of CF tapes or strands individually on the mold surface.. The pre-preg laminates that have the resin already catylized are stored on a fridge till needed. Once the laminate is placed it is bagged or capped in a two piece mold and placed in an autoclave where pressure can be applied and the heat is put put through a controlled ramp up and down cycle. It is a highly technical process . . . slightly more advanced then my shop lol

must have been cool working in that environment. Were you involved in making these pieces? I need a 3D thing to build boats lol . . .
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