Host Institution: Brunel University London
Lead Investigator: Mihalis Kazilas
The feasibility of utilising MW heating for composites manufacturing without the need of a dedicated MW Oven is the topic of this report. The initial concept of wires with slots that will act as MW applicators (waveguides) did not produce an acceptable thermal profile: local temperature variations were too high. The simple configurations tried in this study improved the local variations, but more work is needed to conclusively evaluate the idea and its practicality. A different approach was then tried: MW applicators that can be realised as printed circuit boards (PCBs). These boards can be slotted inside tooling. Their design can follow the heating requirement of the composite shape and size. The feasibility study showed that the PCB applicators fulfil two of the three concept feasibility criteria. The concept was validated by producing a number of composite laminates that were of similar quality to laminates produced in a convection oven.