An Overview of the Out of Autoclave Process
Out-of-autoclave (OOA) manufacturing has come a long way to process the next-generation structures, particularly in the aerospace industry. The reason for manufacturers to adopt the OOA is due to the two important factors – money and size of the part. Traditional autoclave curing systems are expensive to buy and operate and are available only in limited sizes.
Manufacturers in aerospace and other industries are increasingly turning to OOA to cure parts. Out-of-autoclave is less capital-intensive and less costly, especially as parts increase in size and number. Several of the latest advancements push the technology even further, offering curing solutions that are out-of-autoclave and out-of-the-oven. Among the solutions under development are integral liquid heating/cooling and induction heating. These technologies offer the same benefits of OOA and then some – fewer steps, less material and shorter cycle times.
OOA is most heavily utilized by aerospace industry manufacturers as well as a variety of sectors are adopting OOA methods, from renewable energy to automotive and consumer electronics. This is mainly done to improve the quality of the products, increase throughput, cut down on production time, decrease capital, operating and labor costs. Curing time appears to be industries biggest bottle neck and this has forced companies to send employees to trade shows in search of new OOA processes. With the advancement in the OOA technology, some companies are using induction heating to create aerospace parts and internal car parts.
OOA is evolving to address the application problems ranging from part size, manufacturing costs, part quality and curing time. It also is adapting across sectors, including aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, consumer electronics and even farm equipment.