Energy Conservation in Carbon Fiber Composite Curing

Mark S. Driscoll, Ph.D., SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Abstract: An environmental benefit in any industrial process is energy conservation. The power demands in kWh for thermally curing carbon fiber composite vehicle hoods in an autoclave are compared with curing the same molded hoods using X-rays generated from a high energy electron beam. An Aston-Martin hood, presently made using carbon fiber composites, was used as an example of a vehicle component. X-ray curing relies on traditional radiation curable materials and is able to penetrate mold walls and cure a composite while being constrained in the mold.