Simplifying the Complex
Rigid at Lay-Up | Elastic for Extraction
Smart Tooling’s Shape Memory Polymers are designed to be aerospace-grade RIGID epoxies at room temperature, and highly FLEXIBLE elastomers when heated, eliminating the need for expensive, laborious, tedious, dirty, and challenging solutions such as melt-out foam, metal breakdown tools, rubber bladders, or washout tooling.
Smart Tools are rigid for layup to ensure proper lamination and debulk of the composite material and are elastic for a low force extraction from the cured composite part. During cure, Smart Tools can be either rigid or elastic to achieve the highest quality result.
Smart Tools are easily reformed after extraction from the cured compositepart and are reusable between 20 and 100 cycles, typically 50 to 70, resulting in a low cycle cost.
Smart Tools allow manufacturers to unitize complex composite structures that dramatically increase manufacturing through-put. Deploying two Smart Tools enables one to be curing while the other is having composite material applied, increasing throughput at a fraction of the cost of adding a second cure mold.
Smart Tooling Products
Smart Tooling provides formable, reusable tooling solutions for manufacturing composite parts with complex geometries that improve quality, reduce labor hours, decrease consumables, and increase throughput. In other words, Smart Tools allow composite parts to be made Better, Cheaper, Faster!
Smart Tools are made in the net geometry of the composite part minus composite thickness and can be made in 360° or profile shapes. After a release film is applied, composite material can be placed directly onto the rigid Smart Tool.
Smart Tools Acting As Cauls and Bladders
During cure, our Smart Tools that act as cauls and Smart Tools that act as bladders become elastic and translate pressure onto the inner composite part surface to press it against the inside of the mold that determines the outside surface geometry, eliminating air and excess resin to improve part quality. While still elastic, Smart Tools that act as bladders are easily removed from the cured composite part and can be reformed and reused. Smart Tools that act as cauls can be removed from the cured composite part(s) at room temperature after relieving tension between the cured composite and the Smart Tool and then heated, reformed, and reused.
Smart Tools Acting As Mandrels
Our Smart Tools that act as mandrels during cure are perfect for two-stage composite cures. During the initial composite cure at 121°C (250°F), the Smart Tool remains rigid and sets the inner mold line geometry of the composite part. Then, as the temperature is being elevated to perform a post-cure of the composite part at 177°C (350°F), the Smart Tool becomes elastic and can easily be removed from the cured composite part, reformed and reused.
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We Deliver Comprehensive Solutions
Smart Tooling is more than just tooling. We offer total solutions for the manufacture of your composite part, including custom tooling engineering and design, fabrication of molds, Smart Tooling fabrication, initial composite part manufacturing, custom standard operating procedures, onsite start-up support and training, and any future training if required.
Our team of engineers will design the entire manufacturing solution for your composite structure that can include the Smart Tool, the Smart Tool Master mold used to make the Smart Tool and reform it between composite part cures, the cure mold for your composite part, and any other stands, carts, or fixtures that would enhance composite part manufacturing.
Our experienced suppliers fabricate the metal molds required to produce the smart tooling, composite part, and any other manufacturing aids. The molds are track laser scanned to ensure machining is within specifications.
Spintech execution personnel review inspection reports and visually inspect all fabrications, clean, seal, bake, prep the molds, and manufacture the Smart Tools required for composite part fabrication. The Smart Tool will have a release film applied and be reformed to adhere the release film, and set the final geometry. All deliverables will be leak checked prior to issuance of a Certificate of Conformance and Shipment.
Create Pre-Production Composite Part
Smart Tooling has the skills and capability to create a pre production composite part in our facility. This ensures the solution works as designed prior to shipment and allows for creation of a custom standard operating procedure that includes composite part production.
Generate Custom Standard Operating Procedure
After certification; we can create a custom standard operating procedure complete with pictures and detailed instructions on how to use the specific Smart Tooling solution purchased correctly and efficiently. All Smart Tooling solutions include a generic standard operating procedure.
Onsite Start-Up Support & Training
Our project engineer visits your facility to work with your manufacturing team to make a composite part(s) and to provide training on how to use the delivered Smart Tooling solution.