Method and system for fabricating parts from composite materials

  • US 5,954,898 A
  • Filed: 10/02/1997
  • Issued: 09/21/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/13/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
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1. A method for fabricating a composite part from a plurality of composite layers, the part having a final shape, thickness, and density, the method comprising the steps of:

  • laying-up the composite layers one upon another to form a collection of layers in a configuration, each layer comprising a thermosetting matrix reinforced by fibers;

    debulking the configuration of layers by applying pressure sufficient to reduce thickness of the layers to within approximately twenty percent (20%) of the part'"'"'s final thickness;

    heating the debulked layers to a temperature above their glass transition temperature to partially cure the layers;

    forming the partially-cured layers into the part'"'"'s final shape; and

    continuing the application of heat to the layers while holding them in the part'"'"'s final shape with sufficient force to achieve and maintain the part'"'"'s thickness and density and until the heating causes the layers to become sufficiently cured so that the part'"'"'s final shape, thickness, and density are maintained.

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