Rapid Automated Induction Lamination (RAIL) for High-Volume Production of Carbon/Thermoplastic Laminates

Report No. ARL-TR-2478
Authors: Nicholas Shevchenko, Bruce K. Fink, Shridhar Yarlagadda, John J. Tierney, Dirk Heider and John W. Gillespie Jr.
Date/Pages: May 2001; 48 pages
Abstract: An innovative Rapid Automated Induction Lamination (RAIL) process has been developed that can fabricate fully consolidated 8-ply AS4/polyetherimide (PEI) laminates in high volumes. The process relies on induction-based rapid volumetric heating for multilayer consolidation at very rapid rates (less than 30-s cycle times), while maintaining high quality (<1% voids). Full translation of mechanical properties has been achieved in comparison to baseline processes, such as autoclave and vacuum debulk with an order of magnitude increase in throughput. The RAIL process has the potential to be integrated with thermoforming for high-volume production of net-shape carbon/thermoplastic parts.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2001