Microwave (MW) heating through embedded slotted coaxial cables for composites manufacturing (M-Cable)

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Microwave (MW) heating through embedded slotted coaxial cables for composites manufacturing (M-Cable)

Host Institution: Brunel University London

Lead Investigator: Mihalis Kazilas

Aims

The M-Cable project will use slotted coaxial cables to facilitate microwave (MW) heating in tooling for composites manufacturing. The concept enables delivery of MW heating to many processing environments such as autoclave, infusion, RTM and pultrusion. The energy used for processing can be adjusted according to the shape/geometry and size of the part, enabling considerable energy savings over conventional heating methods while benefiting by the high heating rates (cure cycle reduction) that can be achieved using instantaneous volumetric MW heating.

The overall aim of the project is to test the feasibility of uniform MW heating of composites during manufacturing by using a number of slotted coaxial cables embedded in tools.

The following objectives will be addressed:

  1. Simulate the energy output of the slotted coaxial cables and the absorbance of this energy by carbon fibres, either in the tool or in the composite part
  2. Produce tools with embedded slotted coaxial cables
  3. Manufacture composite laminates using the new concept tools
  4. Quality assessment of the produced laminates
  5. Efficiency assessment of the new tool compared to conventional heating methods
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