Cobham Composite Technologies

Cobham Composite Technologies: Retro-fitting of an autoclave forced cooling system.

We were employed by Cobham, a world leader in the design development and production of composite structures and radomes for the aerospace and defence markets, to retro fit forced cooling to their large autoclave at their Shepshed facility.

The need for forced cooling was apparent due to the pressing requirement for a higher production yield from their large autoclave.

We had fitted a new cooling system to their medium autoclave back in 2010 and with the success and increased throughput of this autoclave Cobham Advanced Composites had decided to adopt the same system and cooling principal to the large autoclave.

Forced cooling is the process of introducing water, at ambient temperature, in to an internally mounted heat exchanger at the end of a dwell segment. Instead of leaving the autoclave to cool naturally at the end of the dwell segment, forced cooling is the process of actively pumping water through an internal heat exchanger from a dedicated cooling system at a regulated flow rate to accurately control the cooling of the autoclave and product.

This forced cooling action therefore helps to speed up autoclave cure cycles on the cool segment allowing greater throughput to meet with increasing production demands.

With the growth seen by Cobham this year we were under pressure to supply the system quickly.

From order placement to installation, commissioning and final sign off the project took 8 working weeks to complete and incorporated internal and external autoclave modifications along with the supply of a dedicated cooling system.

Cobham have long been a service customer of ours and we would like to thank them for once again for choosing Premier Autoclave Service & Solutions.