Why Out of Autoclave?
Moving the cure cycle out of an autoclave to a standard oven has a lot of benefits, including reducing capital & operating expenses, as well as saving manufacturing space.
How It Works with Smart Tools
1 | Tool Assembly & Closure
To begin, the Smart Tool with lay up is placed into the bottom of the clamshell mold and the top half is bolted into place.
2 | Vacuum Bagging
A custom vacuum bag is made, and is pulled through the Smart Tool and sealed to the mold face.
3 | Attach End Plates
End plates are bolted to the ends of the clamshell mold. Each plate features an outside the bag seal area, creating a pressure seal which allows for pressurization of the bag up to mold rated pressures.
4 | Cure & Pressurization
The mold is placed inside a standard oven to begin cure. Once the Smart Tool is above activation temperature, appropriate pressure (typically 45 or 90 psi) is applied inside the vacuum bag and the Smart Tool expands outwards, providing compaction of the laminate and achieving equivalent results of an autoclave.
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 deliver comprehensive 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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