Prepreg Processing in Composites Aerospace Production

Prepregs are reinforcement materials that have been pre-impregnated with a thermoplastic or thermoset resin. Cured under high temperatures and pressures, prepregs are ideal for high-performance aerospace applications thanks to advantages like low thermal expansion and environmental corrosion resistance.

Prepregs have long been in demand for aerospace applications ranging from aircraft interior parts to exterior wings. The range of applications for prepreg processes continues to evolve and drive demand in the aerospace sector based on their durability, high stiffness, and the ability to reduce weight. The use of thermoplastic prepregs to create structural components include applications in aerospace, defense, wind energy, and automotive.

Driving demand, we can expect to see prepregs being used in many more aerospace applications. For example, prepregs, traditionally used in autoclave processing, are now being used in out-of-autoclave processing to create primary aircraft structures to help reach aircraft production goals.

How prepreg processing works

Aerovac Composites One, is a leading supplier of vacuum bagging and process materials to the aerospace segment, including process materials, tooling, and services used in prepreg processing.

With prepreg processing, the prepreg is laid into the tool, and several consumable products are placed on top, usually a peel ply, release film, breather fabric, and vacuum bagging film. Vacuum is then applied for part consolidation. When producing a thick laminate requiring several layers of prepreg, debulk operations are required. Once the tool is closed, sealed by a vacuum bag, and all the air has been evacuated from the laminate, it can be placed into an oven for cure.

The experts at Composites One and Aerovac Process Materials help aerospace manufacturers use the right products and processes to achieve structures and parts with reduced weight and improved performance needed for diverse aircraft applications. 

Learn more about the benefits of prepregs in aerospace.