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Debulking Blankets

When thermoset composites are co-bonded, they must first be de-bulked. This de-bulking process is traditionally performed in an autoclave. Not because of pressure requirements, but because traditional heating methods such as resistance heaters cannot provide the temperature uniformity required.

In 2015, Temper was commissioned to design, build, and install a Smart Susceptor blanket for debulking the Boeing 787 rear stabilizers. In 2017, the dual station system was put into production, and since that time has debulked over 1100 parts.

Traditional debulking Induction debulking
12+ hour cycle times 1.5 hours
Requires constant manned monitoring After setup, runs automatically
High utility costs Reduction in utility costs of two magnitudes
can hold temperatures to + / - 8 deg F Can hold temperatures to + / - 8 deg F

In addition, by using multiple power sources and heating blankets the size of the debulking blanket is unlimited. The system that Temper built for the Boeing company has 16 individual heating zones that are combined to create a blanket 9 feet wide x 39 feet in length.

Figure 1: photo of both de-bulking stations. looking at the right side of the figure, the multi-zone smart susceptor heating blanket can be seen
Figure 2: In this image, the top of the blankets vacuum membrane can be seen with 156 integrated TC locations. In the background can be seen the individual power supplies used.
Figure 3: This image shows the problem. With fixed heat input over an area, you either get over heating or under heating of an area. The current work around is to divide the area to be heated into smaller and smaller areas to be individually controlled. 
Figure 4: This image shows the solution. Using induction heating and smart susceptor technology as the temperature reaches curie, it automatically holds the heating at the ceiling or maximum "curie", temperature while the area under the curie temperature continues to heat. 
Figure 5: Graph showing actual test data from 156 TC's showing a temperature range of +/- 5 deg over the entire de-bulking blanket, as shown in Figure 1

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