EADS’ Vacuum Assisted Process (VAP®) enables the manufacture of cost-efficient primary carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite parts with dry fiber layup, followed by infusion of the resin using a two-chamber setup separated by a membrane. This process enables composite structures to be manufactured without traditional large, expensive autoclaves – marking a major step forward in manufacturing technology.
With the application of VAP® technology for the production of CFPR parts, liquid resin is poured into molds and the entire structure is covered with a membrane laminate. This membrane laminate holds the resin in shape and also offers micropores through which gaseous molecules are able to escape – preventing the trapping of air molecules that could cause fractures. Advantages of the VAP® process include easier and quicker ply layup, the possibility to lay up thicker material for higher productivity, better draping capabilities, double-curved structure manufacturability and higher potential for integration, along with no climate control for the shop floor, no time limitation for the dry textile and much better environmental conditions in the factory.
Aerospace and defense, renewable energy, automotive and transportation.
The VAP process leads to improved worker protection and low emissions due to its closed process, provides high process reliability, and enables shorter cycle times with the fast infiltration process through a higher vacuum. Its use is accompanied by the possibility of low initial investment through the use of tools that already are available.
Used in a growing number of production applications, including wind turbine blades, assemblies for submarines and aircraft structures.