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Advanced Tooling Systems

Smart Mandrels®

Smart Mandrels are formable tools that are rigid during lay-up and primary composite part cure and flexible at a secondary post cure temperature. The Composite is applied on the formed Smart Mandrel, vacuum bagged and cured per the manufacturer specification. Once the secondary cure of the composite part is complete and the Smart Mandrel is still above its activation temperature, the flexible mandrel can easily be removed from the cured composite part.

Smart Mandrel Process

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Form

A Smart Mandrel is placed in a form mold, heated above its activation temperature, pressurized, and then cooled.

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Lay-up

After applying a release agent, composite material is applied to the rigid, formed Mandrel. Debulk can be done as necessary.

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Cure

The laid-up mandrel is vacuum bagged and put into a curing environment. The Smart Mandrel remains rigid through the primary composite part cure and becomes soft during the secondary post cure.

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Extract

After the part is cured and pressure is released at a temperature still above the activation temperature of the Smart Mandrel, the elastic mandrel is easily removed from the cured composite part.

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Repeat

The extracted mandrel is placed into a heated form tool, pressurized, and cooled to begin the next fabrication cycle while the cured part completes its cooling cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Mandrel Material Chart

Smart Mandrel Material
Forming Temperature (°F)
Operational Temperature (°F) up to
Strain
QT
300
350 ±5%
≈10%

 

 

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