Composites preforming: Hot Drape Forming (HDF) equipment

Besides our core expertise in hydraulic presses and turnkey production lines, Pinette PEI. also designs and delivers composites preforming production means, such as hot drape forming (HDF) machinery for preform production.

HDF Hot drape forming machine composite preforms from pinette pei 


hdf hot drape forming equipment pinette pei machineryPinette PEI provides equipment for thermoforming, dry carbon fiber laminates, and prepreg materials. Our machines can be adapted to clean rooms, thus IR device fits with class 8 cleanroom requirements (dust, airflow, heat generation) and is equipped with four posts of steel profile.

The hot drape forming machine is composed of:

  • Machine-welded frame
  • Low-density IR heaters 
  • Cooler fan
  • Vacuum pump 
  • Preform tool identification
  • Silicone membrane to prevent cleanroom contamination


The IR heaters have a global stroke of 1200 mm to adjust accurately the heater/preform tool distance. The electric transfer table, equipped with 10 thermocouples, has 6 rolls running on the floor and is adjusted by sensors. The whole system is run by PLC, which permits tool temperature control and heating regulation. Instructions and measurements are gathered on the HMI, which allows great ease of use. Up to 8 plots can be displayed at the same time.

As a historical engineering company, Pinette PEI. is also able to design and deliver customized equipment tailored to your specific needs for your preform production.

Read this article published in Composites World. It describes the Spirit AeroSystem's new high-rate, automated aerospace RTM line for Airbus A320 spoilers. This line integrates three Pinette PEI.'s Hot Drape Forming machines.