Learn about how carbon fiber prepreg can layup directly onto a Smart Tool bladder to create complex and trapped geometry composite parts..
Originally, this aerospace-grade Y-shaped vent was manufactured in two halves that were joined after cure. Each of these halves required carbon fiber prepreg to be laid up into the female cavity and could not have layup on the bladder tool. This caused the laminate to be pinched and uneven. It also forced the lap joints to be staggered over the same area, resulting in a thick and weak part.
Smart Tooling Layup Bladder Process
Using Smart Tools enabled the composite part to be laid up directly onto the bladder because Smart Tools that act as bladders are rigid during layup. Having a 360° tool to layup on allows for the carbon fiber prepreg to be properly spaced for ideal lap joins and debulked.
In addition, the Y-vent needed a non-permeable tank liner cured into the composite. This liner created difficulties when laying up, as it made it challenging for the prepreg to stick. To solve this, Smart Tooling manufactured the bladder with a pre-applied fluoropolymer coating, eliminating the need for the slick liner.
This new method of manufacture allowed the Y-vent composite to be produced thinner & lighter while also being stronger resulting in significant cost savings.
Smart Tooling provides formable, reusable tooling solutions for manufacturing composite parts with complex geometries for the aerospace & defense industry. Smart Tools improve quality, reduce labor hours, decrease consumables, and increase throughput – essentially, Smart Tools enable the manufacturing of composite parts better, cheaper, and faster.
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.
We also deliver comprehensive solutions. 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.
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