Learn more about Smart Tools that act as Bladders in this core product overview.
Smart Tools that act as Bladders are a formable, reusable tooling solution for manufacturing composite parts with complex geometries that improve quality, reduce labor hours, decrease consumables, and increase throughput.
- LAYUP – Composite can be laid-up by hand or automated equipment onto rigid Smart Tool
- CURE – Between 160-200°F, the Smart Tool becomes elastic & pressure is applied to compact the laminate. The Smart Tool can withstand up to 375°F cure temperatures, and can be extracted for high free-standing post cure temperatures.
- EXTRACT – Depressurize, and remove Smart Tool while elastic from cured composite part
- REFORM – Place elastic Smart Tool back into heated form mold, pull vacuum to reset the geometry & cool to begin next cycle
Smart Tools that act as bladders are manufactured to the inside mold line (IML) of the composite part minus bulk factor and are rigid at room temperature. After a release film is applied to the Smart Tool, composite material can be placed directly onto the Smart Tool.
During cure, our Smart Tools that act as bladders become elastic and translate internal pressure to compact the composite laminate against the cure mold that determines the outside surface geometry of the composite, eliminating air and excess resin to improve part quality. While still elastic, Smart Tools are easily extracted from the cured composite part and can be reformed and reused. Watch a Smart Tool that acts as a bladder extracted.
Smart Tools allow composite material to be laid up on the male Smart Tool and cured, eliminating the need to layup into angular female cavity cure molds that are prone to bridging and results in composite part porosity and resin rich areas.
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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