Batch Oven Cures Composites for Military Vehicles

Published Date: 
Monday, January 7, 2008

Wisconsin Oven designed and manufactured two (2) electrically heated batch ovens for low to medium temperature resin curing of composite material (Kevlar) on military vehicles which will provide additional personnel protection for the troops in Iraq. The ovens have work chamber dimensions of 8’0” wide x 24’0” long x 8’0” high and maximum operating temperatures of 500º F.

The ovens are constructed with 4” thick tongue and groove panel assemblies, 12 gauge aluminized floors, and 20 gauge aluminized steel interiors and ductwork. The heating systems feature incoloy sheathed heating elements, for a total of 192 kW in each oven with SCR power control. The recirculation systems each consist of three (3) 7,000 CFM (21,000 CFM total) @ 7-1/2 HP (22-1/2 HP total) blowers, and utilize combination airflow to maximize heating rates and temperature uniformity.

The ovens are specifically designed with composite curing features for precise temperature and pressure control. The exhausts feature motorized dampers on both the fresh air inlet and exhaust outlet for enhanced heating and cooling capabilities. Four (4) interior vacuum stubs were provided on the side of both ovens, along with a twelve (12) position type “J” thermocouple jack panel which provides the customer with the ability to closely monitor part temperatures for a high quality cure.

The customer required a 15-point temperature uniformity of +/-10° F at 375° F. Actual temperature uniformity results were +8.2° F/-5.7° F @ 375° F. The ovens have NEMA 12 control enclosures with IEC style motor starters, push buttons, and pilot lights. The temperature for each oven is controlled by a Honeywell DCP100 programmable temperature controller with 8 programs capable of 16 ramp/soak segments. Over temperature protection is provided by a Barber-Colman 7SL high limit controller, and each oven also has a Honeywell DR4300 circular chart recorder.

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