James P. Martin:
Globe Advanced Composites Equipment team has been busy advancing the performance of RapidClave cure technology as well as developing novel methods of laminating and forming thermoplastic matrix, continuous fiber tape.
Invented originally for a specific automotive class-A body panel application utilizing continuous carbon fiber thermoset prepreg, RapidClave has the flexibility to integrate different tooling systems with very fast and highly uniform heat/cool methodologies.
Through strategic cooperation with material suppliers and customers, Globe has been able to demonstrate rapid cure of a variety of standard and accelerated-cure resin systems, as well as show highly uniform temperature distribution through thick and non-uniform laminates and cored laminates. With the support of our partners, we are building a database to prove that RapidClave’s tailored cure environment meets or exceeds the tolerances proposed by typical autoclave process specifications, while maintaining or improving material properties for structural and appearance applications. Reduced energy consumption, reduced installation footprint, automated tool load/unload and service connections, all contribute to opportunities for additional automation and leaner manufacturing operations.