Recently, LEWCO, Inc. delivered a 500°F. vacuum assisted composite curing oven to a world-class supplier of composite structures. The oven is used to manufacture various parts for the aerospace industry.
The enhanced duty electric walk-in oven features a top mounted heater-box with 144kW of heat capacity. The oven is equipped with (2) 20,000 CFM high-efficiency circulation fans delivering dual airflow and providing uniform heat throughout the workspace. The airflow volume of the oven is designed to meet strict temperature uniformity requirements. The size and placement of the air supply duct are vital in providing proper airflow and heat transfer. The temperature uniformity exceeded customer specifications of +/- 10°F, by achieving better than +/- 5°F at maximum temperature.
Included with the oven are (6) vacuum ports, (6) vacuum transducer ports, (12) type “J” thermocouples and an integral vacuum pump to provide the customer a turnkey solution for their composite curing process.
With flammable volatiles present in the workspace, the oven is designed to NFPA 86 Class A standards. Some features included to meet this standard include safety ventilation, a purge cycle, and explosion relief.
The oven controls include a Eurotherm Nanodac temperature controller and redundant high-limit controller. This controller has a multitude of capabilities including a serial communication port and ramp/ soak programming. A separate paperless data logger is used to record the process temperature, (6) part thermocouples and (6) vacuum transducers. The equipment and controls are designed to be compliant with AMS2750E Class 3, Type D instrumentation.
Due to its physical size, the oven was designed by LEWCO Engineers to be separated into four sections for shipping. This design permitted complete assembly and testing at the factory and also met the size limitations of international shipping.