Batch Oven Cures Composites for Aerospace and Defense Industries

Published Date: 
Monday, February 25, 2008

Wisconsin Oven designed and manufactured a natural gas fired walk-in batch oven for Plastic Fabricating Company. Plastic Fabricating will be using the oven for low to medium temperature curing of composite material for miscellaneous parts for the Aerospace and Defense industries. Some aircraft components being processed are bulkheads, floors, and interior panels. In addition to the aircraft components there are numerous composite components for helicopters and military tankers being processed in the oven.

The oven has work chamber dimensions of 10’0” wide x 20’0” long x 8’0” high and maximum operating temperature of 500º F. The oven is constructed with 6” thick tongue and groove panel assemblies, ¼” thick plate steel floor, and 20 gauge aluminized steel interior and ductwork. The heating system features an Eclipse 160 AH burner rated for 1,600,000 BTU/hr. The recirculation system uses a 30,000 CFM @ 25 HP blower with 16 air changes per minute and utilizes combination airflow to maximize heating rates and temperature uniformity.

This is a Class II oven that meets BAC5621 and D6-53993 specifications. The required 40-point temperature uniformity of +/-10° F at 350° F resulted in an actual temperature uniformity of +5.1° F/-2.2° F @ 350° F. The oven has a UL certified NEMA 12 control enclosure with IEC style motor starters, push buttons, and pilot lights. The temperature for the oven is controlled by a Honeywell DCP100 programmable temperature controller with an RS485 communications port. Over temperature protection is provided by a Honeywell UDC 2500 high limit controller. A CompuDAS Sentinel™ Control and Data Acquisition System and operator PC are used for recipe creation, recipe recall, process monitoring, data file archiving, report generation, and a high-level operator control.

The oven is specifically designed with composite curing features for precise temperature and pressure control. The exhaust features motorized dampers on both the fresh air inlet and exhaust outlet for enhanced heating and cooling capabilities. Sixteen (16) vacuum pipes and transducers were provided on the oven. The vacuum system uses filters at each port to capture resins from the composite curing process. The vacuum system also features sixteen (16) solenoids along with twenty-four (24) total type “J” thermocouple jacks , twelve (12) on both interior side walls of the oven which are connected to the CompuDAS Sentinel™ Control and Data Acquisition System. This system provides the customer with advanced process control, data acquisition, reporting, and monitoring capabilities. All of the composite curing features provide the customer with the high-level of control required to meet BAC5621 specifications for a high quality cure.

Plastic Fabricating also added Wisconsin Oven’s energy efficient E-PackTM oven upgrade, which includes thicker wall panels, higher efficient motors, a door limit switch, and a few other energy saving items that will reduce their operating costs.

For more information on our Composite Curing Ovens click here to visit our website.