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Carbon fiber autoclave molding

Join Date: 2022-07-10

Carbon fiber composite material appeared in the 1940 s the United States, is widely used in industry, with the advantages of carbon fiber material is known, more and more applications in carbon fiber products, autoclave molding is one of the main production technologies of carbon fiber products, I'll introduce you the autoclave molding process.

Carbon fiber autoclaved molding using gas pressure, pressure through the vacuum bag to the surface of the product, the normal pressure at each point is equal, so that the parts are solidified under the same pressure everywhere, the tank for circulating hot air flow to the workpiece heating, temperature difference is small everywhere, at the same time, cooling system configuration, So that the temperature can be strictly controlled within the process range.

Why should autoclave molding be used? Because autoclave molding is superior to other molding methods in terms of design flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Autoclave molding is the most reasonable and feasible method for developing CFRP products in the design and development phase of pursuing the ideal product image.

Generally speaking, the CFRP autoclave process consists of nine major processes: simulation, design, mold production, molding, secondary processing, component manufacturing, mechanical testing, surface coating and component evaluation, etc. The following is a brief introduction to these nine processes.

Simulation

Carbon fiber is a material with a high degree of design flexibility, and there are many design factors that are considered unique to composites, such as anisotropy and lamination. The main content of simulation analysis involves static analysis, influence factor analysis and laminate modeling design, etc. The advantages of carbon fiber can be maximized by simulating the design of CFRP structure. The following figure shows the typical simulation and analysis software.

Simulation

Design

The main design process includes: structural design, process planning, material selection, lamination design, molding and fixture tooling design, etc. According to the target product first, the structure and material that can be realized are selected, the laminate is designed and the drawings are prepared. Unlike metallic materials, composite materials have specific design factors for bonding, joining and laminate design. By utilizing design expertise, it is possible to design CFRP structures that take full advantage of composite material characteristics such as integration of parts and hollow structures.

Design

Tooling Production

The design and manufacture of molds is the key to creating high precision, high quality products. In addition to a mold design that takes full advantage of the autoclave's molding characteristics, a manufacturing method is selected to ensure quality and productivity, taking into account mass production. Several commonly used molds include plaster molds, CFRP molds, and cast molds.

Carbon fiber autoclave mold

Molding process

In autoclave process molding, the molded product is manufactured by cutting CFRP prepreg according to the design, laminating the material in the mold, bagging the material, placing it in the autoclave and placing the resin under high temperature and pressure. Autoclave molding is a method with a high degree of design flexibility to take advantage of the properties of carbon fiber to produce high quality molded products.

Secondary Processing

Molded products that are removed from the mold are drilled and trimmed. Compared to products made of metal, composite products are difficult to machine and must be processed using state-of-the-art waterjets and machining centers as well as primitive technologies to process the molded products. The secondary machining process includes corrections using machines or by hand, followed by drilling and finally cutting using machining, lasers and other methods.

Component processing

Components are completed by assembling CFRP molded products with other molded products and metal parts into a final product. In the manufacture of CFRP molded products, the technique of joining parts is very important and requires the selection of the best method from various bonding and joining methods in order to bond and join CFRP molded products.

Mechanical performance testing

The development of a CFRP product cannot be accomplished by manufacturing the product alone. In order to verify that the product has the properties specified in the design, various equipment for evaluating product performance such as tensile strength testers, fatigue testers, etc. must be used for testing and analysis. The main tests include static load, fatigue test, impact test, weather resistance test, etc.

Surface Coating

Many CFRP molded products, especially exterior parts, require painting and surface treatment to prevent deformation and discoloration and to have design features. This also requires the selection and application of the best painting and surface treatment method depending on the product's application (e.g., automotive and aircraft applications) and the properties of the carbon fiber composite.

Component evaluation

Depending on the user's requirements, the final structural part is subjected to cosmetic inspection, shape measurement using state-of-the-art equipment and non-destructive testing using X-ray and ultrasound. Typical structural part evaluations include: 3D measurement (laser), dimensions, thickness (ultrasound), appearance (gloss, color difference), surface roughness, strength, stiffness, etc.

In general, carbon fiber autoclast molding has the following advantages:

  1. (1) Uniform pressure of carbon fiber autoclaved mould: the use of gas pressure, pressure through the vacuum bag to the surface of the product, the normal pressure at each point is equal, so that the parts are in the same pressure curing molding.
  2. (2) The temperature of the carbon fiber autoclave mold is uniform and adjustable: the circulating hot air flow is used to heat the workpiece in the tank, and the temperature difference is small everywhere. At the same time, the cooling system, so that the temperature can be strictly controlled within the process setting range.
  3. (3) Carbon fiber autoclave mold has a wide range of application: the mold is simple and high efficiency. Not only suitable for large area of complex surface of the plate, shell, but also suitable for simple shape of the plate, rod, tube, block, can also be used for bonding assembly, small parts can be cured at the same time.
  4. (4) Stable and reliable molding process of carbon fiber autoclave mold: uniform pressure and temperature, adjustable and controllable, so that the quality of molding or handover products is consistent and reliable; Low porosity, controllable and uniform resin content; Vacuum can be pumped when pressurized, so that low molecular matter is easy to discharge.

Carbon fiber autoclave mould is widely used in aerospace, composite materials, electronics, weapons, transportation, sports equipment and new energy and other high-tech fields. At present, autoclave process, as one of the forming methods of carbon fiber composite components, is also widely used by many carbon fiber composite component manufacturers.

MDC mould is a professional manufacturer of carbon fiber mold, with experienced engineers, imported equipment, precise processing process, to meet customers' requirements on quality. MDC has accumulated rich experience in carbon fiber mold development, and has provided mold production and small batch production for many well-known automobile enterprises such as Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes Benz, etc. Welcome to contact!

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