How do Prepreg work
Fibre Carbon prepreg fabric will be shipped to you sandwiched between two layers of backing cloth. This cloth keeps the prepreg from sticking together. Peeling off the protective backing is easy and the material is immediately ready for a layup.
To completely cure the prepreg, heat and pressure are required. Although the pressure could be achieved using a press, the more typical method is vacuum bagging. After the part is laid up, it must be vacuum bagged with all of the usual elements – a bag to hold the vacuum, peel ply so the bag does not stick to the part, and bleeder/breather cloth to absorb the excess resin. Additional information about vacuum bagging can be found in our white paper Vacuum Bagging Equipment & Techniques.
The ideal curing environment would be an autoclave which has both temperature and pressure controls, although prepregs are commonly cured otherwise.
The heat requirements generally require an oven in order to control temperature ramp up, ramp down, and to sustain a controlled, uniform temperature for the recommended duration. Ovens used for curing composites should never be used for cooking food as there will be contaminants released.
Heat lamps can be used to create enough heat but the trial and error associated with controlling the temperature will cause problems.
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