Autoclaves in the Automotive Industry
It’s no secret that fabricating composite components has become a trend for the automotive industry. The composite parts are light, stable and maintain a high performance. They are used to reduce design cycle time, vehicle weight and CO2 emissions.
There are a variety of composite fabrication processes that involve molding to shape the resin into form. The hand layup method is the most common fabrication method which entails fabric being stacked and resin being applied after the layup is complete. To control the loss of moisture, there are several curing methods available. However, for high performance thermoset parts that need to be produced quickly, using an autoclave is the way to go. Thermoset parts require heat and high pressure to cure. When an autoclave is used, the part temperature is increased and then decreased back to room temperature in small increments to avoid any distortion.
Autoclaves should be maintained at peak performance to adequately process composites. If the autoclave is not up to standard, the strength, durability and integrity of the finished product is compromised. This could result in a recall, costing the company thousands. To keep this from happening, have your autoclave calibrated annually.
Grand Rapids Metrology offers onsite autoclave calibration services in which we check a variety of functions such as pressure and temperature. Contact us for a quote!