Curing Ovens for Honeycomb Composites

With the constantly increasing cost of fuel and electricity, and corporate green initiatives, lightweighting has become a high priority for manufacturers of vehicles of all types. In addition to better fuel efficiency, lighter cars, trucks, and aircraft provide superior handling characteristics, longer range, and improved acceleration, braking and handling, while also allowing for larger load or cargo capacity. The best strength to weight ratios are achieved using honeycomb composite materials. Honeycomb panels, cores and structural members are manufactured using layers of expanded or corrugated material, typically aluminum, nomex, carbon fiber, or fiberglass, formed into the required shapes, then dipped coated with resin. The material is then cured in an oven under tightly controlled conditions, sometimes utilizing vacuum bagging for larger, more complex shapes. The final product has a strength to weight ratio 30 times higher than aluminum, making it ideal whenever lightweighting is desired. Typical applications are aircraft wing components, cabin panels, helicopter rotors and jet engine covers, as well as automotive body pieces and spacecraft components. Wisconsin Oven manufactures ovens for curing honeycomb composite panels, blocks and cores after resin dipping. These ovens operate at a temperature of 200°F to 400°F, and are designed with specific features to optimize curing of the resins that bond the composite structure. This includes supply duct designs that distribute the heated air uniformly through the blocks, hot oil as the heat source, and LFL (Lower Flammable Limit) monitors to help protect against fire or explosion. In addition, we manufacture ovens for drying moisture from honeycomb material, and for high temperature processing of the blocks up to 1,250°F (676°C).  

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