Heatcon Composite Systems has introduced a new aircraft composite repair system that enables repairs that were not previously possible with traditional hot bonding technology. The Smart Susceptor uses self-regulating heat blanket technology to improve thermal uniformity within composite curing, which Heatcon says ensures that composite materials are properly cured and repaired.
“Existing composite repair equipment relies heavily on technician experience to achieve temperature uniformity when repairing complex structures on new aircraft models such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350,” says Eric Casterline, president of Heatcon Composite Systems. “We are excited to announce the introduction of our Smart Susceptor technology that helps make the technician’s job easier by incorporating advances in control and heating technology for these types of repairs.”
The system uses high-frequency inductive power combined with a specially designed heating wire alloy to reduce or increase heat to areas as necessary to maintain a uniform cure temperature. According to Heatcon, test data shows that the Smart Susceptor system provides an improvement in uniformity of up to three times compared to traditional repair methods. A spokesperson for the company adds that the system works especially well on thermally complex structures such as underlying longerons or stringers, as well as with thickness or material transitions on aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.
Heatcon says the Smart Susceptor system includes a full kit of accessories and the company’s hot bonder software. The system is offered with several available heat blanket designs in various sizes and temperatures, which are sold separately. Although the system is more expensive than a traditional hot bonding system, Heatcon says it “pays for itself by enabling repairs to be performed which would not be possible otherwise.”