CAMX 2019 exhibit preview: General Plastics
Appears in Print as: 'Foam tooling board'
LAST-A-FOAM FR-4800 tooling board. Source | General Plastics.
General Plastics Manufacturing Co. (Tacoma, Wash., U.S.) is showcasing its new LAST-A-FOAM FR-4800 tooling board. This thermally-stable tooling board is said to withstand high processing temperatures and provide a fast and economical tooling option for producing high-tolerance parts, proofs-of-concept, demo models and one-off builds. In addition to the new tooling board, General Plastics will also feature various rigid and flexible foam products, as well as its molding and parts fabrication capabilities.
LAST-A-FOAM FR-4800 tooling board is reported to be dimensionally stable, non-abrasive and easily machined. It can withstand peak temperatures up to 480°F (249°C) and continuous use temperatures up to 400°F (204°C). It has been developed with a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) for reliable production of high-tolerance parts. It can be used with high-temperature resin systems suc as vinyl esters, epoxies and bisma bismaleimides, in high-pressure autoclaves and vacuum-forming.
General Plastics will also feature its premier line of rigid and flexible foam, said to accommodate physical property, flammability and processing requirements for aerospace, transportation and other composite applications. The company emphasizes its LAST-A-FOAM FR-3800 FST polyurethane foam core, which satisfies fire, smoke and toxicity (FST) requirements and Ohio State University (OSU) heat release standards. It is also said to withstand process temperatures up to 310°F (154°C), and is available in custom sizes and thicknesses and in densities ranging from 3 to 40 pcf.
The company also emphasizes that its high-capacity productions facilities enable it to scale production from small runs to specialty parts to ongoing, high-volume parts programs for OEMs and Tier 1 and Tier 2 parts programs. It offers part and tool design, 5-axis CNC machining, manufacture of mold tooling, molding, assembly and production of parts through all phases of delivery. Parts are molded and fabricated to customers’ specifications using its LAST-A-FOAM materials.
The use of continuous fiber in additive manufacturing systems is not trivial, but it is being done. As this fabrication technology evolves and matures, options for applying it in everything from automotive to aerospace to consumer composites will expand tremendously, creating a host of new opportunities for the composites industry. Read here for who is providing what kind of additive manufacturing technology for use in composites fabrication.
Recycling of carbon fiber, glass fiber and — at last — resins, is growing as new players enter the space.
Hand layup has a long history in aerospace composites fabrication, but it's not well suited for automotive composites manufacturing, where volumes are much higher. But the discrete placement of fiber reinforcements still has value. Research is pointing toward automated hand layup that might help this process bridge the aerospace-to-automotive divide.