VAP® is an established production process originally developed in the aerospace sector. The Center of Excellence for VAP® use in aviation applications is a community of specialized companies offering core competencies along the component production chain in the areas of engineering, project planning, aviation-qualified VAP® membrane systems and further materials, process introduction, production support, contract manufacturing and component qualification. The Center of Excellence is thus able to provide international customers a raft of end-to-end services and aids for all areas of VAP® implementation and product realization.
The Rhepro 21, a RHEproducible boat designed by Hamburg's Rhe Sailing Club, is a modern dinghy characterized by high performance potential as well as excellent stability and strength reserves. The lifting keel offers a variable draft for flexibility in the choice of sailing waters and enables a comfortable fit on a trailer. The Rhepro 21 is thus suitable for sport and regatta sailing throughout Europe.
The qualified VAP® membrane system C2003 developed by Trans-Textil acts as the basis of the three-dimensional custom-shaped membranes developed as part of the AZIMUT and RoCK aviation projects. Custom-shaped system components facilitate lay-up handling and deliver significant time and costs savings in the fabrication of complex integral assemblies on the basis of tailor-made vacuum bags produced with the help of innovative joining techniques. Following the official start of the RoCK project, Trans-Textil GmbH and its partners are now concerned with streamlining the industrial-scale VAP® process still further.
Fabrication of a pressure bulkhead at Premium AEROTEC GmbH. Note the custom-made shaped vacuum bag made of C2003, an aviation-qualified membrane system by Trans-Textil.
The partners in the VAP®Alliance offer support to interested manufacturing enterprises on all aspects of the VAP® Vacuum Assisted Process – whether making the move from hand lamination to closed infusion technology for consistent process yields, enhancing the quality of an existing resin infusion process, or implementing an economical production alternative. The VAP® Alliance expert network will be participating in the JEC Europe at the Carbon Composites Association stand (no. T46) in Hall 1.
Trans-Textil GmbH, EADS-licensed manufacturer of central components for the patented VAP® method, has qualified its C2003 VAP® membrane system for aviation applications together with its partners Airbus Deutschland GmbH and Premium Aerotec GmbH. This places a new high-temperature-resistant and practically transparent material on the market for membrane-assisted vacuum infusion in the aerospace sector. The C2003 membrane system, a complete new development by Trans-Textil, acts as a reliable resin barrier for vacuum infusion processes and ensures dependable air and gas evacuation over the entire component surface. Specifically developed for use with certain resin systems at defined temperatures (up to 190°), it is already proving of value in the fabrication of aviation components.
Expert network for membrane-assisted low pressure infusion at the Carbon Composites Association booth (booth A03 in hall 4)
The VAP® Alliance will be participating in the Composites Europe 2011 booth at the invitation of Cassidian, the Global Security Division of EADS. Comprising a network of experts offering support to manufacturing enterprises on every aspect in implementation of the VAP® Vacuum Assisted Process, the Alliance is growing in tandem with the increase of interest in the membrane-assisted resin infusion technology. The specialised companies in the VAP® Alliance offer services and products for every phase in implementation of the VAP® process – from planning, structural engineering and design-to-cost through provision of VAP® membrane systems and other special aids to actual process implementation, training in its use and contract production of prototypes and serial components.
In the last 40 years FUS has been a high performing and extremely competent supplier of a wide range of vacuum process materials. FUS has recently joined the VAP-Network and is a full subsidiary of EADS, who is the patent holder of the VAP-Technology (Vacuum Assisted Process). FUS offers a complete range of VAP-certified vacuum process materials and components. This results in an increase in process reliability for the user enabling him to make full use of the advantages of the VAP process.
The Institute of Textile Machinery and High Performance Material Technology (ITM) at Dresden Technical University has joined the VAP® network, thus expanding the expertise offered by the VAP® Alliance in the fields of preform lay-up for complex component geometries, near net shape preforming and cut calculation for reinforcement structures and VAP® materials. The goal of the VAP® Alliance is to provide licensed VAP® partners expert advice and networked support in all phases of the vacuum-assisted process. The photo shows Matthias Krings, Commercial Manager at Trans-Textil GmbH, presenting Prof. Hartmut Rödel (left) and Prof. Sybille Krzywinski of ITM with the VAP® network certificate.
At the JEC Composites in Paris this March, EADS Deutschland GmbH will be presenting its VAP® Alliance and showing how easy it is to gain a license to deploy the VAP® method of membrane-assisted low pressure infusion. At its invitation, VAP® Alliance members will be showcasing examples of VAP®-fabricated components and products at the joint booth (No. T46 in hall 1), including the E-Port vehicle charging station by Secar Technologie GmbH, the NEXICOS demonstrator by Premium Aerotec GmbH and bobsleighs by Singer Carbontechnik.
Secar Technologie GmbH, developer and producer of the E-Port, is a successful licensed VAP® user in the electromobility field. "We make the whole roof of the E-Port, a solar carport charging station, according to the VAP® method. It not only provides us consistent results and nil-porosity components but is also an economically attractive fabrication process", explains Karl-Heinz Semlitsch, Secar managing director. The E-Port will be making its international debut at the VAP® Alliance booth (Hall 1, Booth T46) at the JEC 2011 in Paris.
German transport minister meets VAP®-network partners
Dr. Peter Ramsauer visits Trans-Textil GmbH
A strong network for a powerful technology – this is how VAP® network partners presented themselves at the visit recently paid by Dr. Peter Ramsauer, German Minister for Transport, Construction and Urban Development, to Trans-Textil in Freilassing, south-east Germany. The company, which is licensed to manufacture VAP® membrane systems and issue licenses authorising their use, was holding an event in collaboration with EADS Deutschland GmbH, Premium Aerotec GmbH, Composyst GmbH and Secar Technologie GmbH to showcase future-oriented projects involving large complex lightweight components fabricated according to the VAP® method. The potential held by membrane-assisted low pressure infusion for traffic technologies is enormous, as impressively demonstrated both by the "E-Port" electric car filling station produced by Secar according to the VAP® method and the NEXICOS demonstrator fabricated by Premium Aerotec in a single pass.
Photo: In future, the large roof structure on the "E-Port", which provides electric vehicles with power, will be produced in VAP® technology. Left to right: Stefan Utecht (Managing Director of Composyst GmbH), Dr. Aimo Bülte (Vice President & Head of Technology Innovation Management at EADS Cassidian), Dr. Peter Ramsauer (German Minister for Transport), Karl-Heinz Semlitsch (Managing Director of Secar Technologie GmbH) and Dirk Schmidt and Matthias Krings (Trans-Textil GmbH).
As part of its Technology Licensing Initiative, EADS Deutschland GmbH is placing its patented VAP® membrane-assisted, low pressure infusion method at the disposal of the market by means of a licence management system. Trans-Textil GmbH, EADS-authorised VAP® licensor for the non-aerospace sector and preferred EADS partner in the aerospace sector, is the direct, worldwide contact for all questions concerning contract-based VAP® licensing. The exclusive EADS partner for VAP® membrane systems will be exhibiting at the Composites Europe show at stand A05 in hall 12.
Dr. Peter Ramsauer finds out about Freilassing’s textile technologies of the future
Trans-Textil GmbH took the Parliamentary Evening of the Carbon Composites Association (CCeV) at the Federal Office of the Free State of Bavaria as an opportunity to present itself in the capital as a medium-sized company to ministry employees and members of the federal and state parliaments. The Freilassing-based business invited Federal Transport Minister Dr. Peter Ramsauer to find out about the latest functional textile applications in VAP®(Vacuum Assisted Process)-lightweight construction.
Fibre-reinforced plastics play an increasingly significant role in transport technology. The use of glass and carbon fibres helps to dramatically reduce the weight of aircraft, cars, lorries and rail vehicles, thereby slashing fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. This is one of the reasons why Dr. Ramsauer showed a great deal of interest in Trans-Textil’s functional textiles, which ensure that components for lightweight construction are particularly high quality and safe thanks to the application of EADS’s patented Vacuum Assisted Process.
Premium AEROTEC GmbH recently demonstrated its own production expertise and the strengths of VAP® membrane-assisted low pressure infusion at the unveiling of the prototype of a civilian helicopter fuselage section in its NEXICOS project. Using VAP® membrane systems, the aerostructure supplier had fabricated the complex fuselage barrel in a single go, complete with integrated stringers, local reinforcements and window frames. As it reports, the Vacuum Assisted Process not only enabled automation of various process steps but also delivered significant mould-making flexibility, thus smoothing the way further for scaling up production of the part to the industrial level. The VAP® approach also yielded cost savings of 30 percent over comparable prepreg structures.
The technology licensing contract with Diamond Aircraft Industries enables this manufacturer to utilise EADS’ patented Vacuum Assisted Process (VAP®) and VAP® - membrane systems by Trans-Textil in the production of its full range of general aviation and personal jet aircraft. VAP® allows composite structures to be manufactured without the use of traditional autoclaves, and
provides high quality parts that are more cost effective to produce while also improving production flexibility and reducing throughput times.
Diamond Aircraft Industries already has successfully demonstrated the advantages of VAP® in proof-of-concept development work for its D-JET private jet, and is expected to apply this process across its product line of general aviation aircraft, which are produced at the company’s facilities in Austria and Canada.
In June, Trans-Textil exhibited multifunctional VAP® membrane systems at the 2010 Berlin Air Show (ILA), placing its products on display at the German Economics and Technology Ministry booth in a joint showing with the German Industrial Association for Finishing, Yarns, Fabrics and Technical Textiles (IVGT). The aerospace sector is regarded as one of the most exacting and sophisticated application fields for Vacuum Assisted Process and other state-of-the-art textile technologies.
Joint marketing of VAP® technology by EADS and Trans-Textil got off to a start at the JEC Composites Show in Paris, where the main attractions of the companies' joint showing consisted of a prototype fuselage for Diamond Aircraft's D-Jet and a pressure bulkhead made for an Airbus by Premium Aerotec – two complex components fabricated in the VAP® membrane-assisted low pressure infusion approach. At the Carbon Composites Association booth, Trans-Textil GmbH also unveiled its new multifunctional membrane laminate solutions developed for use in the VAP® method. The photo on the right shows the management of Trans-Textil GmbH and members of the EADS Technology Licensing Team.
The EADS-patented Vacuum Assisted Process (VAP®) uses the characteristics of semi-permeable state-of-the-art membrane systems to exert vacuum over the entire area of a resin-infused mould to remove trapped air and volatiles in an efficient and reliable manner. VAP® membrane systems are developed and produced by EADS partner Trans-Textil GmbH, which also licenses their use in the non-aerospace sector. In a joint showing with EADS, Trans-Textil will be exhibiting new technical solutions for VAP® membrane-assisted low pressure infusion at the JEC Composites Show, underscoring intensification of their colaboration.
Customised ready-mades and next-generation developments are continually expanding the range of applications-oriented uses to which Trans-Textil´s VAP® membrane systems can be put. An example concerns its VAP® Strips, which it delivers in bespoke widths for use in the fabrication of edges and corners on complex integrated components. Integrating several VAP® stack layers into one significantly facilitates handling in the production of lightweight parts, and is a feature of VAP® Multilayer. Such forward-looking textile solutions for use in the VAP® approach will be placed on view at the upcoming JEC Composites Show.
The VAP® Vacuum Assisted Process is an advanced process technology based on the classical vacuum infusion techniques used to produce lightweight components out of fibre reinforced polymers (FRP). VAP® technology deploys semipermeable VAP® membrane systems for reliable degassing of the matrix material both during and after resin infusion. Thanks to the continual venting of trapped air and reaction gases, vacuum infiltration performed according to the VAP® Vacuum Assisted Process delivers quality components out of carbon fibre composites (CFC), glass-fibre reinforced polymers (GRP), aramid fibre-reinforced polymers (AFP) and other fibre-reinforced composites. Lightweight nil-porosity parts offering a precisely achievable fibre volume content without dry spots are the result. Since the VAP® process lowers costs by reducing the number of rejects and the need for reworking, it is a highly economical lightweight construction method for use in batch manufacturing and series production.
VAP® membrane systems and production auxiliaries not only deliver high process consistency and predictability but can also be adapted to the component in question for automation of process steps and reduction of handling. The interaction of VAP® membrane systems with various resins systems all the way up to the high-temperature level is tested in realistic conditions.
VAP® has long been proving its worth, making it an established method for the production of high-quality lightweight components for use in aviation and wind power as well as in the transport sector and other industrial mass production applications. In the interests of VAP® users and their customers, the patented VAP® process as well as VAP® membrane systems and related components are protected in all application fields by extensive international industrial property rights held by EADS and Trans-Textil. A license contract provides entitlement to use of patented VAP® technology.
The partners in the VAP® Alliance offer not only various production auxiliaries but also professional support in the areas of engineering, application technology and fabrication. They also accompany verification, qualification and acceptance processes as well as series and contract production, and furnish instruction and training in the use of membrane-assisted vacuum infusion according to the VAP® Vacuum Assisted Process.