DISTRIBUTED CURE MONITORING OF COMPOSITE AEROSPACE STRUCTURES
Distributed Dielectric Cure Monitoring allows the use of DEA to monitor many locations in very large autoclaves like those used for composite aerospace structures. Distributed Dielectric Cure Monitoring also avoids the tangle of extension cables used for monitoring parts requiring multiple sensors, such as aircraft and spacecraft components.
Dielectric cure monitoring uses the same sensors and measurements for research, quality control and manufacturing applications. Dielectric Analysis correlates with laboratory tests such as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) or dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). As a result, DEA can act as the “go between” that brings information from the research lab to the manufacturing floor, and from the manufacturing floor to the manager responsible for product quality.
Dielectric sensors installed in at strategic locations can determine when cure along the entire part has reached a desired point. Only at that time would it be removed from the autoclave. By comparing cure profiles, every panel can be judged against a nominal family of curves. Results can be recorded for statistical quality control (SQC), and deviations beyond defined limits indicate the process has drifted.