Age Forming Technology Expanded in an Autoclave 850885
Development of the autoclave forming aluminum (AFA) process has advanced current technology of age forming. Using an autoclave for application of aging heat and forming pressure, the process has been used to form 50 feet long, 2124 and 2419 aluminum wing skins containing integrally machined stiffeners and varying in thickness from 0.1 to 2.5 inches with thick pads in the middle of thin sections. The process produces smooth contours with no visible evidence of abrupt changes in thickness. The skins are believed to be the largest and most complex parts ever to be age creep formed in the history of the aircraft industry.