Aerovac Process Materials Used in Prepreg and Infusion Manufacturing Processes

Most structural composite parts made in the wind energy and aerospace markets are made in single-sided tools and require the extensive use of process materials. Choosing the appropriate process materials for composite manufacturing processes, such as prepreg processing and vacuum infusion methods, is critical to achieving quality finished parts.

Process material stacks vary depending on the manufacturing process, and each layer has a function that directly contributes to optimizing the properties of the final cured composite structure. The structural performance of a finished composite structure is dependent on the fiber volume ratio. A manufacturing process can optimize the strength and stiffness of a composite structure by optimizing fiber volume ratio with the ideal amount of resin and void content. It is important to tightly control the composite curing process, in part by selecting and using the appropriate process materials.

Aerovac and Composites One provide the technical support that customers need to select and use the right process materials for achieving the full structural potential of the composite part. Our technical support includes product selection and ongoing education to teach customers proper techniques and best practices for using composite products and process materials, including workshops to offer hands-on training support.

 Prepreg processing

Prepreg processing is commonly used for composites manufacturing within the aerospace industry. Typical process materials available from Aerovac that are used during this method are bagging film, breather fabric, release film, peel ply, and sealant tape.

Vacuum integrity is critical to the quality of both prepreg and infusion processes. The process material stack is important to maintaining even pressure and ultimately getting a void-free laminate that reaches the ideal fiber volume fraction, maintains low void content, and yields the structural properties that the part was designed to achieve.

Vacuum infusion

Vacuum infusion is an economical manufacturing method for large complex composite structures, widely used in the wind energy market. The vacuum infusion method is similar to prepreg processing in its goal to consolidate the laminates and achieve a high fiber volume and low void content. Infusion differs from prepreg in that fiber reinforcements are loaded into a dry mold. Process materials are equally important in resin infusion, for instance, flow media, which is placed on top of laminate stack to fully saturate the resin into the fiber preform.

Process materials play an integral role in achieving a quality finished part. Aerovac is a valued supplier and an industry-leading technical support partner that can assist composite manufacturers in selecting and utilizing the correct process materials for their job, while considering the most ideal manufacturing process and components, such as compatibility requirements on the resin system.

Learn more about Aerovac process materials available from Composites One.