Quatro takes delivery of large Surface Generation mold system

Surface Generation's PtFS tooling system will be used by Quatro Composites to manufacture thermoplastic composite structures for a North American' aircraft program.

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Surface Generation Ltd. (Rutland, UK), a provider of advanced carbon fiber processing technologies, announced on May 11 that it has completed delivery of its largest ever PtFS (Production to Functional Specifications) tooling system to advanced composites manufacturer Quatro Composites (Poway, CA, US). The modular PtFS system, which can be reconfigured for use across multiple projects, is being used to create thermoplastic composite structures as part of a high-volume North American aircraft program. It is the first system produced by Surface Generation to incorporate more than 200 individually heated and cooled areas within the mold tool faces, allowing thermal control to be applied even more precisely when forming highly complex components.

PtFS enables manufacturers using compression and injection molding applications to adapt heating and cooling levels in real time to meet the requirements of each part. The process is used by global automotive, aerospace, energy and consumer electronics manufacturers to improve component production quality and throughput.

Ben Halford, Surface Generation’s chief executive, says, “These monolithic composite components are subjected to high dynamic aerodynamic loads in a highly abrasive area of the aircraft. As such, this out-of-autoclave, high-volume production application needs to be incredibly precise to assure quality and to maximize throughput.

By using PtFS, Quatro Composites has achieved a step-change in its manufacturing processes.” Rob Westberg, vice president of research and development at Quatro Composites, adds, "We’ve been working with Surface Generation to refine our production processes and prove that PtFS can form these complex components consistently, economically and to a greater quality than previously possible. PtFS is a cutting-edge process that enhances our ability to produce structural components for state-of-the-art commercial and military aircraft.”