For the last 40 years, manufacturers of high-performance composite parts relied on a process of building up many layers of continuous-filament or woven-fabric lamina to create strong products.The layers were built by placing the lamina over a mold to shape the part and then repeating the process.However, this process often created air bubbles and voids in-between layers, which can act as stress concentration points and ultimately delaminate the material under high shearing stresses, resulting in rework and additional costs for the manufacturer.In most operations, a thin sheet of high-performance plastic film was placed over the lamina and a vacuum was used to squeeze out all the voids and bubbles after every few layers.The conventional practice in industry was to discard this sheet of plastic film every few layers, making this an expensive and wasteful process. MORE….
A device provides for a reusable vacuum hag process to fabricate composite parts used in the aircraft and other industries. The process reduces the cost of labor for each part produced. MORE….