The molds used for forming composites, also known as tools, can be made from virtually any material. For parts cured at ambient or low temperature, or for prototyping, where tight control of dimensional accuracy isn’t required, materials such as fiberglass, high-density foams, machinable epoxy “boards” or even clay or wood/plaster models are often suitable. Tooling costs and complexity increase as the part performance requirements and the number of parts to be produced go up. High-rate production tools are generally made of robust metals that can stand up to repeated cycles and maintain good finish and dimensional accuracy.
New RTM'd carbon composite center hinge fitting withstands 20-ton air load in commercial jet spoiler assembly.
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Glass-reinforced plastic artfully captures classic curves, crash-protects passengers and stunningly packages its maker’s high-performance but highly fuel-efficient diesel powertrain.A growing trend: 3D printing of aerospace tooling CompositesWorld
Toolmakers and OEMs are embracing additive manufacturing for customized, rapid tools, masters and jigs.3D Printing Moves Into Tooling Components CompositesWorld
Some pundits predict that 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), will change our world forever. While that may yet be, one thing is clear: The growth of 3D printing over the past two decades has wrought significant change in composites tooling. Although AM’s most obvious advantage is direct part production without tooling, the growing trend in the aerospace and automotive sectors at present is its use for fast, on-demand builds of mold tools to keep pace with accelerating composite part design cycles and demand for faster overall part processing speeds.Webinar: Benzoxazine resins for composite tooling CompositesWorld
Two free webinars, one for the Americas and the other for Europe, will review the benefits and application of benzoxazine resins in composite tooling fabrication.Epoxy tooling materials CompositesWorld
Trelleborg Advanced Engineering and Materials (Boston, MA, US) showed its high-performance epoxy tooling materials for aerospace, electronics and industrial markets, as well as adhesives, sealers and pastes.