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Drape Forming Heat

The Latest in Drape Forming Machines- Innovation by Ceramicx

The new Ceramicx infrared drape forming process project will deliver a machine with greater process speed and decreased energy consumption. This will be complete by applying Ceramicx expertise and knowledge of infrared heating to composite pre-preg heating.

The drape forming heat machine will apply the company’s recognised expertise in infrared heatwork and applications engineering to the composites sector. Dr Peter Marshall, Ceramicx's lead project engineer, says ‘the Ceramicx approach differs from current hot drape forming machines insofar as it’s based around empirical research and experience for the best and most efficient IR heater/emitter for composite pre-preg materials’. This research has shown that this type of heater can influence both temperature and temperature profile though part thickness.

Current methods in the production of composites production can be both labour intensive and slow. Capital equipment also tends to be expensive and it creates a bottleneck in the production process (e.g. autoclave), therefore a key area of focus is OOA (Out of Autoclave) solutions.

A major solution to this is that these hot drape formers will have advanced features in relation to fast cycle times, high quality finish with sound product integrity as well as ease of operation. A key prerequisite for improved drapeformers is extensive knowledge on resin behaviour, advantages of infrared curing as well as any additional enhancement factors such as vibration, vacuum etc.

Dr Cathal Wilson, Director at Ceramicx notes that ‘research into highly specialized composite resins is not something which we specialize in which is why we’re working with Belfast Metropolitan College’s Composite consultants’. Findhan Strain says ‘Belfast Met help to remove extensive learning curves and shorten development periods associated with entry into the composites market’.

If you are looking for high productivity drape forming machines for out-of-autoclave (OOA) or Vacuum bag only (VBO), Ceramicx has the machine for you.

Ceramicx Vector Drape Former Technical Specification for model illustrated as below
  • Bed size - 1400 x 1000 mm  ( 55 1/8” x 39 3/8” )
  • 28.8kW optimised infrared system
  • Siemens HCS based control system
  • 5 independently controlled heating zones from non-contact pyrometers
  • IP 44 Synchronised lifting columns – No exposed drive shafts
  • High performance vacuum system with automatic venting feature
  • Bed size customised for your requirements
  • Multiple trolley options for enhanced productivity
  • Enhanced temperature control for productivity​

Hot drape forming process machines


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