Spirit develops new composite manufacturing technology

Spirit AeroSystems announced its Advanced Technology Centre in Prestwick, Scotland, has developed an improved method for manufacturing composite parts.

Spirit AeroSystems uses some of the world’s largest autoclaves to support the company’s composite fuselage business. The new intelligent heated tool technology can cure composite parts 40 percent faster and at half the cost without using an autoclave.

In collaboration with the University of Strathclyde and the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems (CENSIS), Spirit developed an intelligent heated tool for curing composite components. The new technology can cure composite parts 40 percent faster at half the cost and supports a wide range of composite components across industries, from wind turbine blades to the next generation of composite aircraft.

“Instead of curing components at a standard temperature for hours at a time, we can now tailor the cycle time to match individual part geometries,” Stevie Brown, lead engineer at Spirit’s Advanced Technology Centre in Prestwick, explained. “The autoclave has been a bottleneck in manufacturing lines, and removing it will reduce cycle times for components, cut production costs and decrease energy consumption.”

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