This is the first step toward a cross-licensing arrangement involving the EADS-patented Vacuum Assisted Process (VAP®) and MT Aerospace’s MT RIMTEC® – both of which enable composites manufacturing without the use of traditional large, expensive autoclaves, marking a major step forward in production technology.
The initial agreement, concluded at the JEC Composites show in Paris, was signed by Wulf Hoeflich, EADS’ Head of Technology Licensing; Martin Salzburger, Head of Patents & Technology Licensing at EADS’ Cassidian business unit; and Dr. Oliver Kunz, the Head of Aeronautics, Composites and Ceramics at MT Aerospace.
Under the accord’s terms, MT Aerospace would be granted a non-exclusive license to utilize VAP® patents in the manufacture and sale of its products, while EADS is to be provided an exclusive license for products manufactured on the basis of MT RIMTEC® patents.
“This will be a win-win opportunity for both EADS and MT Aerospace, allowing each to benefit from the other company’s proven composites production technologies,” Hoeflich said.
Both the VAP® and MT RIMTEC® technologies use manufacturing processes that start with a dry fiber layup, followed by the infusion of resin using a two-chamber setup separated by a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane laminate holds the resin in shape and has micropores through which gaseous molecules are able to escape.
The advantages of these complementary technologies include easier and quicker ply layup processes, along with the ability to use thicker material in layups for higher productivity. Their application is well tailored for large and complex-shaped parts, and they eliminate the need for climate control on the shop floor while providing much better environmental conditions in the factory.
“Making use of both technologies enlarges the scope of resin infusion processes for products of excellent quality and performance – which in the end means high-value solutions for our customers,” said Dr. Ulrich Clormann, Head of Technology and Innovation at MT Aerospace.
The VAP® technology has been licensed to a steadily growing community of users in both aerospace and non-aerospace applications. For aerospace use, the VAP® licensing authority is EADS, while licenses for non-aerospace applications are released by EADS’ partner company, Trans-Textil.