Corpus Christi Army Depot
An autoclave pressure vessel was installed in November of 1995 that allows for full service and comprehensive rebuilding of entire helicopter blades. It also has the capability of replacing de-icing mats and removing moisture from main and tail rotor blades during the curing process.
Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) installed the largest national gas fired autoclave in the United States. It is 10 feet in diameter and 50 feet long. The autoclave operates at 650 degrees Fahrenheit, 165 psi, with a full vacuum of 29 inches of mercury. It allows for recycling and reuse of defense sensitive equipment which was previously disposed of. This system decreases blade scrap generation and hazardous air pollutant emissions while lowering hazardous material usage, due to source substitution from higher to lower VOC adhesives and autoclave use.
This system uses less toxic, lower VOC content, film adhesives that activate under temperature and pressure. Field repair would use more toxic, higher VOC content, wet - two part adhesives containing listed hazardous carrying agents that function at room temperature. Therefore, reducing emissions, potential hazardous wastes, and solid wastes.
Details of Reductions
Additional Information :
The initial capital cost was $2 million. CCAD saves over $850,000 in scrap metal, hazardous waste generated, and air emissions. The payback period is just over one year.