Aerospace Composites Manufacturing and Characterization

June 16, 2020

The mechanical properties and associated cost of a composite structure are strongly dependent on the technique used to manufacture it. ARIC offers a broad range of equipment for manufacturing composites, including an autoclave, hot presses, resin transfer molding facilities and high-temperature ovens. A range of additive manufacturing equipment is available for building parts in both plastics and metals. The Center also has a range of equipment that can be used to characterize the key physical properties of resins and the permeability of fabrics for use in both autoclave and out-of-autoclave manufacturing. The Center also has advanced non-destructive testing equipment for identifying and characterizing defects in composites.


  • Hot air autoclave (Scholz) – With a capability to manufacture composites panels with dimensions of up to 2 meters by 1 meter. The maximum temperature capability of the autoclave is 400o C and maximum pressure rating is 21 bar.

  • Small hot press (Meyer) – Platen size is 300 x 300 mm with a maximum temperature capability of 400o

  • Resin transfer molding press (Coexpair) – Platen size 1000 x 600 mm with a maximum temperature capability of 200o The maximum press capacity is 120 tonnes.

  • Resin transfer molding (RTM) injector (Wolfangel) with a maximum injection capacity of 1.6 kg of resin per minute.

  • Vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) table and associated vacuum equipment.

  • X-ray computed tomography equipment (GE Nanotom). Maximum specimen diameter and height are 250 mm. Image quality of up to 300 nanometers.

  • Permeability rigs for characterizing in-plane and out-of-plane resin flow in dry fabrics.

  • TA Instruments Discovery HR-1 hybrid rheometer for studying the rheology and viscoelastic behavior of polymers.

  • Binder oven with dimensions 1000 x 500 x 800 mm and a maximum heating capability of 300 o

  • Axio Vert.A1 inverted transmitted light microscope.

  • Composites lay-up facility