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The Vacuum Assisted Process (VAP®) is a patented infusion process developed by the aircraft engineers of "Aerostructures made in Augsburg" for the manufacture of CFRP components. This new technology has the advantage of doing away with expensive autoclaves.
(Published on June 2008 – JEC Magazine #41)
This technique also allows shorter component production times in comparison to conventional processes. Boeing was won over by the process: the approximately 5m x 6m "black" aft pressure bulkheads for the B787 Dreamliner are made using the VAp
technology in Augsburg. This vital component separates the passenger cabin from the lower pressure outside the aircraft and closes the end of the cabin inside the tail section of the fuselage. The Augsburg aerostructures plant developed the aft pressure bulkhead and is also ensuring the assembly operations. Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. is assembling the pressure bulkhead to the 787 aft fuselage sections and delivering them through Global Aeronautica to the Boeing 787 final assembly line at Everett near Seattle. The certification test for the aft pressure bulkhead includes static, fatigue, damage tolerance and failure testing. Static tests were successfully completed under surveillance of the authorities at the test facility near Munich. The pressure loads of take-offs and landings were simulated during 165,000 fatigue test cycles. Result: no failure or objection was recorded during any of the test cycles. Another product based on the VAP® technology is the cargo floor for the new A400M military transport aircraft. At a size of approximately 7m x 4m, it is the world's largest aircraft component to be manufactured using this innovative technology