petePete Woolridge, Sales Specialist with Bondtech Corporation, walks past the 113,000-pound autoclave that was delivered to IMS Fabrication, owned by Bondtech, in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Bondtech will add about 20,000 pounds of various devices to the carbon steel pressure vessel to make this hulk operational for a customer in the aerospace industry. This 50-foot-long autoclave with a 13 foot inside diameter will use pressure and heat to fuse materials together.

Among the autoclaves scattered around the Bondtech facility, there is one that towers above the rest. Bondtech manufactures and refurbishes autoclaves for different industries. Autoclaves are used to create products that need intense heat and pressures ranging from tires that need to be retreaded to bulletproof glass can be put in an autoclave to create a rigid, finished product. They can also be used for medical waste sterilization.

“This is one of the largest systems that Bondtech has completed and looks forward to building even larger systems if the opportunity becomes available.” Pete Wooldridge – Bondtech

Dana Ingold, an engineer for IMS Fabrication in North Carolina, said the carbon steel pressure vessel is 50 feet long overall, 13 feet in diameter, weighs 113,000 pounds and will weigh 20,000 pounds more when the company is finished with it. The vessel will be able to have an internal temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit and a pressure of 160 pounds per square inch.

Harvey Morgan, general manager, said the vessel spanned the width of the facility’s back door. They had to use a crane to get the vessel off of the truck. In a project that will take about two months, workers at IMS Fabrication will be adding additional components such as state of the art PLC controls, a fan motor, heating elements and cooling systems and plumbing to pressurize the vessel. Ingold said he prefers bigger vessels because there is “plenty of room to work.” He said it was exciting to have such a big pressure vessel in the facility. Ingold said he likes the idea that one vessel they work on could be used for aerospace while another could be used for tires. “Every day it seems like something different comes up”

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