Infrared Composite Plate Curing Furnace

23 September 2022

Today, most of the scientific researches in the aviation and automotive industry are di- rected to reduce the mass of the materials of the equipment used in such areas and to save fuel. In this direction, researchers examined various materials and especially focused on high-strength ther- moset components. Although the thermoset components under con- sideration are basically in the class of composite materials, they have a skeleton structure in which organic- based plastic materials form the main phase and are strengthened
by fibers. In order for the obtained composite components to reach the desired shape from the raw material, they must be subjected to a preheat- ing process. Afterwards, the material reaches its final form after undergo- ing other shaping processes such as thermoforming and pressing. To give an example of the two shaping pro- cesses mentioned, composite ma- terials have started to be preferred instead of aluminum alloys in the aviation sector in aircraft fan hoods, door frames, flight control panel and its intermediate equipment and many body chassis structural com- ponents. In the automobile industry, many hardware from battery carrier containers to door handles, from handbrake holding apparatus to ve- hicle chest cover are manufactured from composite materials. Our pre- heating furnace, which emerged as a result of our R&D project, is designed to be used in other sectors that need heat treatment in composite materi- als, especially in the aviation and automotive sectors.

Heating with Infrared

Infrared beams are in the wave- length range of 0.76 to 300 microm-eters. The beams in this frequency range can effectively heat the surfaces they are in contact with, thanks to the high energy they carry. The beams emitting from infrared heaters can be absorbed, transmitted or reflected back on the material, as shown in Figure 1. In order to provide effective heat transfer, the material must absorb as much of the emitted beams as possible.

In the infrared furnace design, each of the infrared heater parameters given in Table 1 is taken into acco- unt. Types of infrared heaters that can be selected according to the targeted temperature and the effec- tive wavelength range in the com- posite material to be treated are classified. Depending on the color of the composite material, the hea- ter is further sub classified in order to achieve maximum heat transfer.

Composite Plate Curing Furnace

For the composite plate curing fur- nace, the parameters of the infrared heaters given under the infrared he- ating heading have been examined in detail. As a result of the evalua- tion, it was concluded that ceramic infrared heaters are ideal for the application.

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