Recently NLR installed a new facility at its Marknesse establishment, which is now available for use by industry. The facility is a special oven in which composite parts can be cured, consolidated or annealed. The oven is 8 meters long and about 3Â½ meters in height and width and can be heated up to 400Â° C. It can perform a fully programmable heating cycle while the product is kept under vacuum.
The oven provides an alternative to an autoclave, of which the latter is normally used for the above-mentioned processes. The use of ovens is a clear trend and becoming an interesting alternative in composite production, since a large autoclave requires, compared to an oven, higher investments and has higher operational and maintenance costs.
The use of ovens still requires material developments in order to be able to comply with aviation standards regarding product quality. This is also true for efficient curing, consolidation and annealing of several smaller products.
NLR’s Senne Sterk: “The oven is also very well applicable to other sectors, such as wind turbines, offshore, maritime, transportation and automotive. Besides thermoset and thermoplastic composites the oven can also be used for other materials “.
The oven is also purchased to cure, consolidate and anneal large products produced on our Automatic Fibre Placement (AFP) machine. The AFP machine can make products up to 6 meters in length and 3 meters in diameter.
The oven contains Nanodac Eurotherm controllers, has a temperature uniformity of +/- 5 Â° C, two separate vacuum systems with registration, 36 type K thermocouple connections and forced air cooling.
The oven is available for all SMEs and industries at a competitive rate.
Also visit our Composite Manufacturing Technologies capability page.