Understanding Prepregs in Out-of-Autoclave Processing

For manufacturers who rely on large, high-quality parts that offer high performance, and strength, using out of an autoclave with prepreg combined with vacuum bagging can be an ideal, lower-cost alternative to traditional autoclave processing.

While autoclave processing uses pressure vessels to process parts and advanced composites materials that require exposure to elevated pressure and temperature, out-of-autoclave (OOA) composite manufacturing is an alternative method to the traditional high-pressure autoclave curing.  Within out-of-autoclave processing, prepregs are a material of choice for aerospace manufacturers with demanding application requirements.

Prepregs fuel aerospace composites manufacturing

Prepregs are reinforcement materials that have been pre-impregnated with a thermoplastic or thermoset resin to increase their strength and stability. Certified prepregs are especially viable for use in the aerospace market, with a clear trend toward out-of-autoclave materials and process combinations that drive composites fabrication for next-generation aircraft programs. Major projects that leverage the benefits of prepregs out of an autoclave include the Airbus Wing of Tomorrow (WOT) program and the Airbus A320.

High-quality vacuum bagging and process materials from Aerovac

Aerospace manufacturers lean on prepreg processing to produce large, high-quality structural parts, eliminating the capital expense of purchasing a costly autoclave. Manufacturers in prepreg processing require high-quality vacuum bagging materials for success, such as vacuum bags, peel ply, breather, sealant tape, and hoses. Prepregs (uni, woven, and film adhesives) and process materials like vacuum film are commonly used in out-of-autoclave prepreg processing.

Aerovac is a leading supplier of vacuum bagging, process materials, tooling, and services used in prepreg processing by the aerospace segment. Aerovac provides all the vacuum bagging and process materials that manufacturers need to reach production goals with efficiency, quality, and consistency.

With the widest selection of in-stock products, plus technical support, experience, and tooling and process expertise, Composites One has the products and resources needed to maximize the efficiency of manufacturing processes, in and out of an autoclave.

Learn more about prepregs from Composites One.