JEC Group have brought together the international community of composites leaders and executives in our Composites Circle as an unique networking opportunity to meet with both peers and future partners.
JEC Europe 2012 - The world’s largest industrial microwave system – Hephaistos VHM from Vötsch Industrietechnik GmbH with a 7000-litre working chamber volume – is a world-patented system for microwave hardening of composites materials.
This is the first successful development of microwave technology to a large-scale mature industrial engineering level. The unit is characterised by an extremely high field homogeneity. It is possible to harden high-quality products and materials (e.g. carbon fibre-reinforced composite materials [CFC]) that, due to their potential for use in lightweight constructions, are employed in aerospace engineering and, increasingly, the automotive industry.
Microwaves penetrate the material directly and heat the product, but the oven remains cold during this process. Reduced production costs through shorter warm-up, process and cooling times are an important advantage offered by the HEPHAISTOS system. The system only involves inertialess heating of the component itself – the oven not being actively heated. This way, a high heating rate is generated by microwaves in the component with low energy consumption. The system also includes newly-developed and inexpensive processes employed in the aerospace industry involving the injection of resin as an adhesive between carbon fibres. Rapid, efficient and inexpensive production of composite structures can thus be achieved. The system was developed as part of a technology transfer with the Karlsruher Institut of Technology (KIT).