BALU® research autoclave
BALU® re­search au­to­clave
Image 1/4, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

BALU® research autoclave

The BALU® re­search au­to­clave has a load length of 20 me­tres and a load di­am­e­ter of 5.8 me­tres.
Factory of the Future
Fac­to­ry of the Fu­ture
Image 2/4, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Factory of the Future

More ef­fi­cient pro­cess­es through dig­i­tal twins and In­dus­try 4.0.
Efficient curing processes
Ef­fi­cient cur­ing pro­cess­es
Image 3/4, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Efficient curing processes

Ef­fi­cient cur­ing pro­cess­es through in­no­va­tive con­trols based on op­ti­cal sen­sors and heat­ed tools.
Efficient curing processes
Ef­fi­cient cur­ing pro­cess­es
Image 4/4, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Efficient curing processes

Ef­fi­cient cur­ing pro­cess­es through in­no­va­tive con­trols based on op­ti­cal sen­sors and heat­ed tools.

At the German Aerospace Center (DLR) site in Stade, the Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems operates the largest research autoclave in the world. The Biggest Autoclave Laboratory Uni (BALU®) is used to research new technologies in the field of lightweight composite structures.

Optimising the production of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymers

An autoclave is a pressure-sealed oven that is used to cure components made of Carbon-Fibre-Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) in a vacuum. The objective of the research carried out at DLR’s Center for Lightweight-Production-Technology is to optimise infusion and curing processes for fibre-composite components on an industrial scale. To date, the system has been used for applications in the fields of aeronautics, space, transport, wind power and energy.

A large proportion of national and international projects deal with the primary structures of aircraft, such as fuselage segments and wing shells made from a diverse range of materials. At the facility, aluminium (relaxation forming) and fibre-metal laminates (fuselage shells) are just as well represented as CFRP (for example, toolmaking, among other things).

The research autoclave in Stade is also increasingly being used as a testing platform for digitalisation and Industry 4.0. To this end, a patented concept for the curing process is being tested and validated in combination with a digital twin. Users include stakeholders across the entire supply chain; for example, original equipment manufacturers, component manufacturers, material suppliers, end users and system manufacturers.

Contact
  • Volker Speelmann
    Head of Cen­tral Ex­pen­di­ture Man­age­ment
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4103
    Fax: +49 2203 601 4115
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Dr.-Ing. Jan Stüve
    Head of De­part­ment – North
    Ger­man Aerospace En­ter (DLR)
    Cen­ter for Lightweight-Pro­duc­tion-Tech­nol­o­gy (ZLP)
    Com­pos­ite Pro­cess Tech­nol­o­gy
    Telephone: +49 531 295-3700
    Fax: +49 531 295-3702
    Ottenbecker Damm 12
    21684 Stade
    Contact

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