Published in collaboration with NCMS
Digital Manufacturing Report

News & information about the fast-moving world
of digital manufacturing, modeling & simulation

Language Flags

HEATCON Offers Affordable Option for Composite Repairs

SEATTLE, WA, Nov. 6 - Autoclaves are used in the aerospace industry for curing composite materials during the manufacture and repair of complex parts. But the equipment is expensive. 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 more expensive traditional autoclaves.

"The complexity of composites as used 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. "When composite parts are manufactured or repaired, technicians often use expensive autoclave curing processes."

Although composite repair 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, requiring autoclave processing.

"The patented, easy-to-use RepairClave gives aerospace facilities 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).

With the absence of inert gases typically required for the pressure application process, the RepairClave provides a safer, more environmentally friendly alternative at a fraction of the cost of an autoclave.
Heatcon's portable autoclave combines heat blanket technology with one pressure zone and multiple heater control zones to provide even air pressure and localized heat.

"Instead of heating the entire autoclave pressure vessel in order to achieve the temperature needed for curing a component, localized heat is applied by the same silicone rubber heat blankets used in the hot bonder repair," Casterline said. "Only the actual repair area is heated, and since the volume of air inside the RepairClave does not reach cure temperatures, the use of an inert gas is not required."

According to Lane, "The RepairClave keeps things as simple as possible while still meeting required composite material curing specifications."

HEATCON designed the RepairClave to be portable to appeal to aerospace firms with expanding operations, and to have added flexibility in shop floor layouts.

"RepairClaves are currently being used by helicopter manufacturers, universities, aerospace companies and others. It is a great option for customers who are looking to reduce costs and increase process efficiencies," Casterline said.

About HEATCON Composite Systems

HEATCON Composite Systems is a leader in composite repair equipment, repair material sales and technical services for the composite repair industry. HEATCON's customers include the commercial and military aerospace, automobile, marine and wind energy industries. HEATCON is considered the foremost supplier of repair products including hot bonders, blankets and supporting accessories. HEATCON is also a global source for training at, and has developed basic composite courses consistent with worldwide standards.



RSS Feeds

Subscribe to All Content

Feature Articles

Titan Puts a New Spin on GE’s Wind Turbine Research

Unlike traditional energy sources, wind is a trouble to tame, which has led GE to turn to advanced simulations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to put the technology on track to cover 12 percent of the world's energy production.

Lighting a Fire Under Combustion Simulation

Combustion simulation might seem like the ultimate in esoteric technologies, but auto companies, aircraft firms and fuel designers need increasingly sophisticated software to serve the needs of 21st century engine designs. HPCwire recently got the opportunity to take a look at Reaction Design, one of the premier makers of combustion simulation software, and talk with its CEO, Bernie Rosenthal.

D-Wave Sells First Quantum Computer

On Wednesday, D-Wave Systems made history by announcing the sale of the world's first commercial quantum computer. The buyer was Lockheed Martin Corporation, who will use the machine to help solve some of their "most challenging computation problems." D-Wave co-founder and CTO Geordie Rose talks about the new system and the underlying technology.

Short Takes

Local Motors and ORNL Partner for Automotive Manufacturing

Jan 24, 2014 | Local Motors, a vehicle innovator, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have announced a new partnership that they hope will bring change to the automotive industry.

Robots Showcase Skills at DRC

Jan 22, 2014 | A month ago, the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials (DRC) commenced. The main goal of the event was to aid in the development of robots that will someday respond to natural or even man-made disasters. At this year’s DRC, prototype robots from 16 teams were put through a series of trials in which they were to showcase their skills.

Advanced Modeling Benefits Wind Farms

May 25, 2011 | Advanced computing resources optimize the site selection of wind farms.

Not Your Parents' CFD

Oct 13, 2010 | Outdated beliefs stand in the way of greater CFD adoption.

Manufacturers Turn to HPC to Cut Testing Costs

Oct 06, 2010 | Supercomputing saves money by reducing the need for physical testing.

Sponsored Whitepapers

Technical Computing for a New Era

07/30/2013 | IBM | This white paper examines various means of adapting technical computing tools to accelerate product and services innovation across a range of commercial industries such as manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment and retail. No longer is technically advanced computing limited to the confines of big government labs and academic centers. Today it is available to a wide range of organizations seeking a competitive edge.

The UberCloud HPC Experiment: Compendium of Case Studies

06/25/2013 | Intel | The UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the volunteer participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. This Compendium of 25 case studies is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of applying advanced technologies to help drive their organization’s productivity to perceptible new levels.

Conferences and Events

Featured Events

Copyright © 2011-2014 Tabor Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Digital Manufacturing Report is a registered trademark of Tabor Communications, Inc. Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Tabor Communications Inc. is prohibited.
Powered by Xtenit.