Specialist tooling company Compotool Ltd. (Auckland, New Zealand) is featuring its tooling board, adhesive and surface sealer for pattern building, rapid prototyping or short-run direct tooling. CT850 is a high-performance tooling board with a coefficient of thermal expansion equal to carbon and has temperature capability of up to 850°C. It has very low thermal conductivity so all the heat applied from the autoclave goes into the laminated part rather than the tooling board, producing an improved surface finish, with reduced autoclave time and faster ramp rates. Its machinability is also an advantage, say Compotool, with wear on cutting tools said to be equal to that of machining wood or MDF. An additional reported benefit is that the CT850 can be used as a drilling or machining jig after cure. Compotool also reports that CT850 is "totally natural," which means that when the tool is no longer needed it can be ground up and put back into the earth.
Editor PickOOA composites in next-generation launch systems
As United Launch Alliance ULA replaces Atlas and Delta with next-generation launch rockets under the Vulcan name, supplier Ruag Space has been selected to provide lower cost/improved quality out-of-autoclave fabrication of Vulcan’s composite primary structures. Ruag will manufacture 5.4m payload fairings and 400-series interstage adapters for ULA’s Atlas V rocket.