07 August 2006
07 August 2006
Comtek Advanced Structures has filed a second patent application related to its low cost composites manufacturing initiative.
This new resin heating and curing system, code-named ""SmartCure"" has been developed in conjunction with the Institute for Aerospace Research, a division of the Canadian National Research Council. The SmartCure system has been developed for out-of-oven or out-of-autoclave processing of advanced composites and uses multi-zone in-tool and on-tool direct heating. The system is said to provide very accurate heating control for components with large variations in thickness and construction, ensuring that every area of the component is processed in an equal manner thus achieving extremely consistent material properties throughout, while minimizing thermal distortions. Accurate zonal control of the processing is achieved using a proprietary controller incorporating cure kinetics algorithms tailored to the specific material systems being used.
The SmartCure system is a complementary technology to Comtek's ""SmartFlow"" process for resin infusion, for which Comtek applied for patent protection last year. In typical aerospace applications, SmartFlow and SmartCure are integrated by Comtek in a complete resin infusion and cure control system to produce complex composite parts and assemblies at very low cost compared to conventional processing technology. Comtek say that the combined system is flexible, scalable and readily adaptable to a wide variety of resin formulations.
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