Here at HEATCON Composite Systems®, customer support is a high priority. We strive to give you the very best in composite repair equipment and solutions. We are committed, through the skills of every one of our employees to be vibrant, innovative, and a responsible world market leader.
Can someone at your office make a product recommendation based on my application?
Yes, Heatcon prides itself in having a knowledgeable sales staff. Please call our sales team who will either recommend a specific solution or refer to the factory staff for more in depth problems.
Which hot bonder is right for you?
Curing a part under unique conditions, what are some options HEATCON provides?
A custom formed heat blanket is designed to fit the part, achieving thermal uniformity, and giving you repeatability.
A stretchable heat blanket and vacuum bagging techniques can work on some complex configuration applications. The unique construction of a stretchable heat blankets allows you to apply uniform heat by conforming to the part shape. The design employs a grid of wound resistance wire vulcanized between durable unsupported silicone rubber.
Hot air heat application is another alternative in composite repair techniques. This applies heat to difficult shapes or hard to reach areas similar to those repairs done in an oven. Primary applications are composite repairs, secondary bonding, and modifications to composite structures. Powered and controlled by a hot bonder, it can be effectively used in place of other types of heating devices including standard silicone rubber heat blankets. More importantly, it provides even heating of contoured surfaces where a heat blanket cannot be used. This process however can be the most challenging! It requires the technician to directly monitor / develop the heat containment device and convection path so that it does not impinge on the part.
This information provides product or system options for further investigation by users having technical expertise. Before you select or use any product or system it is important that you analyze all aspects of your technical application and review the information concerning the product. The user, through their own analysis and testing, is responsible for making the final selection of the system and components and assuring that all performance, safety, and warning requirements of the application are met.
What does HEATCON Composite Systems offer?
We are the leading manufacturer of composite repair systems and a supplier of accessories, materials, supplies, and training. HEATCON® Composite Systems can help customers establish new composite repair facilities by providing the equipment, materials, training and expertise to get started.
How do I get started?
The basics are a facility with adequate floor space, electrical power, work benches, plant air, etc. Also required are various hand and power tools, a freezer, materials/supplies, and hot bond equipment. Training for your personnel will be another important need.
How to do a hot bonder repair
There are several things to consider:
What is my input voltage – 120 volts or 240 volts?
What is the amperage capacity of the machine?
What is the amperage capacity of the outlet in my facility?
What is the temperature of the cure?
How difficult is the structure to heat?
Multiply the input voltage by the machine amperage to obtain the wattage. For example, with a 30 amp machine using 120 volts you have the capability to use 3,600 watts of power.
The average blanket output is 5 watts/in2, although they can be manufactured with a lower watt density.
12″ x 12″ Blanket Size
12″ x 12″ = 144″ x 5 watts = 720 watts Total
Machine capacity at 120 Volts / 30 amps – 3,600 watts
Blanket power draw – 720 watts
A 12″ x 12″ blanket would be no problem for the machine, nor would a 24″ x 24″ blanket. A 24″ x 48″ blanket would also be within limits at 2.5 watts per square inch.
Things to keep in mind:
According to NEMA regulations, your load should not exceed 80% of the breaker’s total amperage. For example, you should only use 24 amps of a 30 amp circuit.
Many machines can use 120 volts or 240 volts (240 volts will double the wattage output).
Your machine may have 30 amp breakers but the outlet in the wall may only be 20 amps. 20 amps now becomes the determining factor as to blanket size.
Larger blankets can be manufactured at lower watt densities, down to 2.5 Watts/in2 and still achieve a 250ºF cure under optimum conditions.
A booster box can be used to increase amperage to accommodate very large blankets
Care instructions - silicone rubber heaters
HEATCON’s® quality standards are among the highest in the industry and we take great care in the design, manufacturing and testing of our Silicone Rubber Heaters (SRH). We desire to provide our customers with a STRONG, DURABLE and RELIABLE tool for application purposes. The end result of our quality process is a Silicone Rubber Heater that is ECONOMICAL for the customer to use.
We strongly believe our customer can get the maximum use from our Silicone Rubber Heaters if they keep these simple care instructions in mind.
STORAGE – Standard Silicone Rubber Heaters
1. Store Standard SRH’s in a flat position when not in use. Take care not to pull on the blanket leads of any SRH.
2. Another acceptable method is to hang the SRH. Do not allow the SRH to be folded during this storage. Each SRH should be individually hung.
3. Rolling of the SRH is generally not recommended, however if rolling the blanket is desired then roll the SRH on a tube of NOT LESS THAN three inches in diameter.
STORAGE – Contoured Silicone Rubber Heaters
1. A contoured SRH that has enough weight and size to collapse should be supported by the mold or other method that allows the blanket to maintain its shape without supporting its own weight on any one surface. The mold or cardboard cut to fit will usually accomplish the desired support.
1. Take care when handling the SRH. Do not roll the tab, fold by the tab, or carry the SRH by its lead wires.
2. Do not lay the blanket on any sharp object that could cut the cured silicone surface or cut into the fine wire circuits.
3. Take care when removing the sealant tape from the Teflon® jacketed lead wires. Do not use a knife to cut the sealant tape as this could cut the Teflon® lead wires, causing damage and resulting in a possible electrical hazard.
1. Operate the blanket within its designed operating temperatures. Most composite cures can be accomplished between 250°-350°F. When higher temperatures are required, keep in mind that SRH life decreases. Operation at temperatures over 450 degrees degrades the silicone surface and greatly reduces blanket life.
2. Avoid placing standard heat blankets on sharp objects and compound curvatures on the repair surface.
3. If compound curved surfaces require a heat blanket cure, use a stretchable heat blanket.
STRETCHABLE HEAT BLANKETS
DO NOT USE FLASH TAPE with silicone-based adhesives for holding stretch blankets in place during lay-up. During the cure, the adhesive will bond to the blanket rubber surface. When the tape is peeled away, the rubber will peel with the tape. This will damage the blanket and possibly expose the electrical circuit, creating a hazardous condition.
The edges of the stretchable heat blankets are subject to tearing by rough handling or sharp objects. Please use caution when handling these blankets, as their flexibility makes them somewhat more fragile.
If a stretchable heat blanket has surface damage to the outer layer of material (as in flash-tape peeling), repairs can sometimes be performed with the use of high-temperature liquid silicone rubber. Contact HEATCON® Composite Systems for advice and the repair procedure.
Thermocouples and their usage
Thermocouples and Their Usage Preface
The thermocouples sold by Heatcon Composite Systems are designed and manufactured for aerospace application, using the highest quality material. The type of thermocouple wire used is known as “instrument grade” wire, with a specified measurement tolerance of +/- 2 degrees F, (1.1 degrees C). This is as opposed to other products available that are constructed of “extension grade” wire, with a specified tolerance of 4 degrees F, (2.2 degrees C). The insulation on the wire is Kapton. This material does not melt, and has excellent abrasion and moisture resistance. The specified maximum service temperature is 500 degrees F. The actual thermocouple junction, (temperature sensor), is welded to provide mechanical integrity and stable temperature output readings.
A thermocouple is temperature measuring device consisting of two conductors of dissimilar metals or alloys that are connected only at the ends, called junctions. When the ends are at different temperatures, a small voltage is produced in the wire that is directly related to the temperature difference between the ends. If the temperature at one end is known, the temperature at the other end can be determined by the measured voltage. The accuracy of the thermocouple is determined by several factors. The major factors are the quality and uniformity of the wire, and the type and condition of the junction. The quality of the wire is specified by Heatcon and controlled by the manufacturer. The junction is probably the most important factor of which the user has control. Other factors would be shunt impedance, galvanic action, series resistance, and decalibration due to annealing when exposed to excessive heat. Shunt impedance and galvanic action are minimized by the use of the Kapton insulation, which prevents moisture intrusion. Series resistance becomes a factor only at very long lengths or if very small diameter wire is used. The Heatcon Composite Systems thermocouples are made of 24 AWG wire, that is useable up to hundreds of feet. The temperature ranges the wire is subjected to, under composite repair conditions, is well below the annealing point, and is not considered a problem factor.
A point to consider is that the thermocouples have a finite service life, and require periodic inspection and re-termination. As the thermocouple is used in the repair process, foreign material can contaminate the junction, and the junction material will oxidize when exposed to heat and moisture. These factors will affect the temperature as sensed by the repair equipment. The junctions are welded during the manufacturing process, which minimizes the effects of contamination and oxidation. Simply twisting the wire ends together is not considered a satisfactory junction. This type of junction will degrade very quickly under heat and pressure, resulting in false temperature measurements. The junctions can be reworked in the field with the use of a portable thermocouple welder. The original junction is cut off, wires stripped, and a new junction is formed by fusing the bare wires together with the welder. The change in length caused by the re-termination process does not affect the temperature reading, due to the relatively large wire size used in the construction of the thermocouples.
Hot bonder amperage
There are four factors when determining what amperage to plug the bonder into.
1) Heat blanket amperage requirement. This can be determined by dividing the rated wattage by the rated voltage. For example, If I am using a heat blanket rated at 1280 Watts, and 120 Volts, the amperage calculation is Watts = (1280/120) = 10.67 Amps.
2) Input plug amperage limitation. The amperage is always limited by the input plug. If the input plug on your bonder looks like a standard 120Volt household plug, you are limited to 15 amps. If a higher amperage is required we can supply a 30 amp input plug.
3) Output receptacle amperage limitation. The standard output cable that Heatcon supplies has two 15 amp receptacles. These look like a household 120V configuration. The maximum amperage of each heat blanket plugged into the output receptacle must not exceed 15 amps. The maximum combined amperage of the heat blankets plugged into the output cable must not exceed the amperage rating of the input cable (15 amps).
4) Service power limit. Many shop environments also use 15 amp, 120 Vreceptacles. When this is true, your input power will be limited by the service power available. If you had a 30 amp input cable to the bonder, and only had a 15 amp power receptacle available, you would still be limited to 15 amps. If you do decide to use a 30 amp input power cable, make sure that 30 amp service power is available (These are usually twist-lock style receptacles).In conclusion, all you need to remember is Service power rating, Input power rating, Output power rating. Pick the lowest of the three and this is the limit of the heat blanket you can use. Calculate the amperage of the heat blanket using the Watts/Volts formula and compare it to the lowest rating. If it exceeds the lowest rating, you cannot use the blanket with the existing power configuration. If it is under the lowest rating, you are in good shape.
How fast can I get a part?
Orders for parts in our stock can usually ship same day. Items that must come from the factory will be ready to ship from their stock within 2-3 days. Notify us that you need an item in a hurry and we will do everything we can to meet your lead-time. Most of our vendors offer the option to drop ship directly to our customers, but the specific requirements vary. Please contact our sales staff for additional information.
Do you stock parts at your location
HEATCON®, Inc. keeps a stock of our vendors most popular and common items. In addition we have a varied supply of temperature controllers and electric heaters that will fit many applications. Due to the large volume of different parts available from our vendors, most items will be supplied from the factory.