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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Collaboration aims for exciting developments in future composites.3D-printed, autoclave-capable mold, in-person CompositesWorld
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