Vacuum Bag Silicone Frame for Curing Composite Material Parts
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-30
The IP.com Prior Art Database
The object of the invention is to enable a vacuum bag to be reused for several compaction operations. This is achieved by fixing the vacuum bag to a silicone rubber frame using sealant tape, instead of fixing the vacuum bag to the curing tool directly using sealant tape.
The invention is applicable to the aeronautical industry, particularly to the manufacture of CFRP parts.
During the layup of the CFRP plies, compaction operations are necessary in order to prevent air bubbles from appearing in the laminate. These air bubbles have to be eliminated before introducing the CFRP part into the autoclave, because they cannot be eliminated during the curing cycle.
Nowadays, a vacuum bag is used for the compaction of the composite material plies after their layup. This vacuum bag is designed to be reused several times, but the problem is that it has to be fixed to the curing tool by means of sealant tape. The sealant tape is not reusable and the vacuum bag film can sometimes break when the sealant tape is removed. Furthermore, it is difficult to replace the sealant tape due to the curing tool geometry (big tools, difficult access, big curvature).
The object of the invention is to avoid the use of sealant tape in direct contact with the curing tool. Thus, it will be possible to reuse the vacuum bag and the device used to fix it to the curing tool, thus reducing manufacturing costs.
The invention consists of fixing the vacuum bag to a silicone rubber frame using sealant tape. The sealant tape is fixed to the silicone rubber tool by means of silicone rubber glue. No ancillary material is necessary to fix the silicone frame to the curing tool, so once the compaction is carried out, the silicon...