ASC Process Systems has announced the completion of the world's largest autoclave. The giant autoclave will cure composite fuselage sections of the revolutionary Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft.

 

This record-setting project took over 1 1/2 years to complete, and is scheduled to begin production of Boeing 787 components in the coming months. The autoclave will process components to a maximum pressure of 150 psig (10.2 Bar) at a maximum temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius). The working area of 30 feet X 75 feet, and volume over 82,000 cubic feet, makes this the largest autoclave in the world. Fully loaded, it weighs in at more than 500 tons and was fabricated on-site at the new Vought Aircraft facility in Charleston, S.C.

 

The Boeing 787 represents the future in passenger aircraft in that it will fly longer distances and be the most fuel-efficient ever built. The large quantity of composite structures is key to this achievement.

 

"The crew from ASC Process Systems has been onsite here in South Carolina making a Vought dream come true," said Mark Dickey, Vought's Charleston general manager. "Their crew's responsiveness has been fantastic as they continue to train Vought personnel and aid us through total qualification of the autoclave."

 

"This has been a monumental project. ASC is very proud to be an integral part in the advancement of aviation material development with Vought Aircraft and all of the parties involved," says Dave Mason, president, ASC Process Systems. "This first step of composite fuselage production represents a great leap in the use of composites for aero structure and jetliner efficiency."