|The largest 200°C class curing oven in Europe received at MULTIPLAST.|
This week MULTIPLAST S.A.S. received the largest curing oven in Europe in the 200°C class. The exceptional size of this equipment, in this range of temperature (32.6 m long, 6.9 m wide and 4 m high, i.e. approximately 900m3) will enable MULTIPLAST to offer its customers vast possibilities in the manufacturing of “out-of-autoclave” polymerized parts.
|200°C for high technology markets|
Curing at 120°C is state of the art for the production of racing vessels, antennas, radars and other non-flying parts, however a curing capacity at 200°C is needed to approach the more specialized high technology moulds and parts markets such as those of the aeronautical industry. Indeed it is no coincidence that nowadays, large suppliers of prepreg carbon are developing “out-of-autoclave” resin systems, whose mechanical and thermal characteristics are much superior to those of 120°C class products.
This is the company’s fifth curing oven and it is comprised of 4 x 8.15 m long blocks capable, depending on the projects, of being assembled end to end to form a 32.6 m long oven, or of being used independently as 4 separate ovens. The unit is mounted on rails making it possible to position it over the part to be polymerized, thus avoiding movement of the moulds, which could result in deformations.
|Anticipating a burgeoning demand|
Dominique Dubois, President of MULTIPLAST S.A.S. “… The decision to invest in this equipment was made in order to anticipate a burgeoning demand from large contract providers who now consider the autoclave to be a bottleneck in the production line. The exceptional size of this oven will enable us to strengthen our position as a leader in the large-sized composite parts market by offering the design office the capacity to design even more ambitious elementary parts and minimize assembly...”
The Groupama 4 monohull, destined to take part in the next “Volvo Ocean Race” round the world race, will be the first project to benefit from this equipment. In less than 30 minutes the curing oven, according to the production phases, can be positioned over the deck or hull. However, because of measurement rules, the curing temperature of this vessel shall not exceed 95°C.
For Francis Wacquet, Sales Manager of France Etuves, “…with this creation, our company has shown its capacity to supply a 900 m3 unit, designed, manufactured and assembled on the client site in record time. This equipment is innovative because an exceptionally consistent temperature of up to 200°C can be obtained due to its new ventilation concept.”