Composite tooling block

Advanced Composites Group Ltd. has launched CB1100, a high-grade ceramic tooling block material that offers high-temperature resistance and a low coefficient of thermal expansion.

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CB1100 ceramic tooling block, recently launched by Advanced Composites Group Ltd. (Heanor, Derbyshire, U.K.), offers high-temperature resistance and a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). Fully compatible with the company’s LTM epoxy and HTM bismaleimide (BMI) prepregs, the block can be used to form thermally stable composite tooling capable of withstanding the high pressures and elevated temperatures associated with autoclave cure cycles. Machining times for the material reportedly are short and, because of its low thermal expansion, the material also is said to be well suited to the production of highly accurate short-run and prototype tooling. Blocks also can be joined adhesively and machined to form a tool core, eliminating the need for a master model, thereby further reducing lead times and costs. The composite tool skin, laminated directly to the core, uses the company’s interfacing technology. The carbon tool skin is fully supported by the ceramic core, so there is no need for a backing structure. According to the company, a BMI tool face can be layed up directly on the machined block without the need for a high-temperature-capable intermediate. Tool facing materials then are CNC-machined to create the final mold surface profile.

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