With the continued development of resin technology, out-of-autoclave (OOA) processing has become a viable, cost effective solution to producing high quality composites structures. One such process, vacuum assisted composite curing (VACC), utilizes vacuum pressure along with a specially equipped, convection oven. Advantages of the process include flexibility, relatively low energy consumption, and a reduction in total process cycle time resulting in significantly lower manufacturing costs.
No other company puts forth the effort to understand a customer’s application like LEWCO. Our Applications Engineers take the time to walk through every step of your process so that they can fully understand how to improve it. This leads to a cost-effective solution and more efficient process. Our knowledge and years of experience in the industry gives us the ability to meet very strict specifications common within the aerospace industry (temperature uniformity, heat-up rates, controlled cooling rates, vacuum controls, etc.). Additionally, LEWCO Ovens are easily designed to meet current standards such as AMS2750E and BAC5621.
LEWCO’s composite curing control package includes a multiple recipe ramp/soak temperature controller, redundant high-limit controller, and multiple input digital data logger, which continuously records temperature and other process data. Data logger allows downloading of digital data files through USB or Ethernet connection. Complete system is designed to AMS2750E standards.
PLC (programmable logic controller) allows easy control of processes with numerous inputs and outputs; or processes requiring automation of material handling equipment. The PLC can also allow for Ethernet connectivity for remote system monitoring. Touchscreen HMI (human machine interface) programmed with LEWCO's proprietary operating software provides easy access and control of different parts of the equipment. It also allows for real time monitoring and provides feedback of the process in a visual, easy to read format.
Circulation fan(s) and exhaust fan(s) include air proving circuits that are electrically interlocked with the heating circuit. All controls are housed in a NEMA 12 enclosure employing a full voltage lockable disconnect switch. Controls are wired to NFPA 70 and 79 electrical standards. Other third party certifications are also available.
While our standard control package offers functionality perfectly suited for many applications, LEWCO's Controls Engineers and in-house panel shop technicians can easily tailor controls to meet specific customer requirements.
Thermocouple Jacks: Thermocouple jack panel for high-temperature Type “J” thermocouples located inside the oven. Includes wiring to data logger if requested.
Vacuum Ports: ½” NPT thru-wall vacuum ports, each with vacuum rated manual ball valve and indicating gauge. All ports are connected to a 1” NPT header.
Vacuum Pump: Includes motor starter circuit and connection to vacuum header pipe.