Tooling for Composites
Modular Design of Big Wing Tools and Laser Welding MethodDr. Christian Schmid, Managing Director, SET Ltd.
Successful use of composite materials begins with the right tooling
Transport of big layup tools for carbon fiber parts like aircraft wings is cost intensive and carry a high risk of damage of the tools during transport. The new technology presented in this paper offers options to reduce transportation costs and damage risk to a minimum. The advantages will be shown at the examples of building the new Airbus A350XWB / Boeing 787 wing tools. The process begins with the production of five wing modules which are finished at the toolmakers site and transported to the customers site the cost efficient way in separate pieces. The interfaces of the modules are machined with very small tolerances and a special geometry to enable a proper laser deep penetration welding process with a mobile laser and a mobile laser welding machine at the customer site. Within 2 days the substructure of the five segments is TIG welded together. In the next step the sensitive face sheet is welded with a special mobile laser welding machine which allows to follow the 3-d contour within a tenth of a millimeter. In one night all 4 seems are laser welded with the mobile laser machine. The welds realized with this technology have a narrow, but deep geometry and make the face sheet vacuum tight. At last the small the 10 mm wide welding path is finished by grinding and polishing by hand. This laser based building technology for big modular tools safes time and costs and is also sufficient for repair operations on large tools.Tooling for CompositesPaul Walsh, Hampson Aerospace, Tooling SolutionsReusable Silicone Bagging – Reduce Non-Compliant PartsCraig Swiger, Regional Manager, Prairie Technology Group, Inc.
Many companies today are still hesitant to make the transition from the traditional disposable vacuum bag film to the reusable silicone vacuum bag system. One contributing factor is that companies are not well equipped with the proper knowledge that reusable silicone bags when best implemented can reduce the percentage of non-compliant parts to virtually zero. The objective of this presentation is to inform companies of the many benefits associated with the reusable silicone bag system and how these attributes will contribute to minimizing non-conformal parts while increasing part throughput. Spray fabricated reusable silicone bags provide net shape, net finish to any geometry giving instant feedback on prepreg placement and potential bridging resulting in virtually non-existent part waste. By visual confirmation of proper bag fit, every line worker can now be engaged in the quality control program by visually inspecting and correcting potential areas before the part is sent to autoclave. Production is also increased by taking advantage of alternate sealing options suitable for use when using a reusable silicone bag. These sealing options can minimize tool foot print in the autoclave allowing for more parts per autoclave cycle. Companies using reusable silicone bagging system are claiming that the worst part made using a reusable silicone vacuum bag is better than the best part made with disposable bags.
Keynote Presentation by Bill Fitzgerald, Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Engines Operation, GE Aviation
Show Floor Opens
Tooling Panel Discussion
Discover more than you know from a panel of knowledgeable and experienced manufacturers
Moderator: Dave Dickson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Lunch in Exposition Area
Tooling for Composites
Smart Tooling: Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD®) Life Cycle Case StudyThomas Margraf, Director of Engineering, Spintech Ventures Div. Smart Tooling
A continuation from the morning’s session
This paper will present the life cycle analysis of SMP Bladders for the fabrication of Raytheon’s MALD fuselage. Studies were funded through Air Force ManTech (AFMT) and conducted by Raytheon Missile Systems and Cobham Composite Products to correlate cycle life to composite mechanical performance by characterizing the SMP Bladder tooling and fuselage witness panels after a pre-determined number of cycles. Results show no tool degradation and no change in laminate properties after a minimum of 24 cycles. Smart Tooling’s product line enables composites manufacturers significant reductions in manufacturing labor for fabrication of complex and trapped geometry structures. Savings are realized through streamlined tool preparation and extraction processes. Smart Tooling offers inner mold line (IML) rigid mandrel product, Smart Mandrels™, and outer mold line (OML) inflatable bladder products, SMP Bladders. Smart Mandrels are formable above a composite’s cure temperature and are rigid below cure temperatures, accommodating composite layup and product curing. When heated again above the cure temperature, Smart Mandrels retract and become flexible for easy removal from the finished part. SMP Bladders operate first as mandrels and later as inflatable bladders. SMP bladders are formed to a rigid, durable, net-shaped surface for composite layup. After placement into a curing mold and heated above the SMP Bladder’s transition temperature, it becomes a flexible, inflatable bladder that consolidates the part against an OML clamshell tool. Once the part is cured, the SMP Bladder is depressurized and is easily removed, reformed, and ready for the next composite part lay-up.Nanovate-NV/Carbovar Surfaced Composite ToolingJonathan McCrea, PhD, PE, R&D Manager, Integran Technologies Inc.
A novel tooling technology has recently been developed through a collaborative effort between Integran Technologies and Umeco Structural Materials (formerly ACG) which uses a unique low CTE nanocrystalline Invar (Nanovate™ NV) coating on a conventional carbon fibre moulded tool. Due to the nanocrystalline grain structure, the coating has a hardness approaching that of tool steel, which significantly improves the scratch resistance and damage tolerance of conventional carbon/epoxy or carbon/BMI mould tools. This presentation outlines the process used to manufacture these tools, the work that has been undertaken to prove their longevity, and the demonstration tools that have been manufactured to date to prove the concept.Low Cost, High Quality Composite Tooling Utilizing Additive Manufacturing ProcessBill Macy, Business Development Manager, Stratasys
Inspecting to ensure the process is correct is common in any manufacturing endeavor. But it should not be the inspector’s job to ensure the manufactured result meets design requirements. Attempting to meet this second requirement creates additional time-consuming inspection steps that should not be done in the workshop.
Today it is possible to use software to virtually inspect a simulated layup created directly by the AFP NC program. The simulated layup can be checked to ensure it meets design requirements in a much more sophisticated way than any physical workshop technique. Once the theoretical layup created by the NC program is validated, the inspection process in the workshop can focus on making sure the physical process meets the manufacturing intent.
This session will discuss how AFP layup simulation directly from an AFP NC program works, some of the layup features that can be inspected, and how this can help improve inspection efficiency in the workshop.
Manufacturing & Processing Composites
Tips and Tricks for Routing and Drilling CompositesMike MacArthur, National Sales Manager, RobbJack Corporation
Practical manufacturing applications to advance the use of the material
Many companies struggle with machining of new composite materials. Common problems are poor tool life, delamination of layers, and long cycle time. The presentation is set up to give tricks and tips to overcome most of the problems encountered machining modern composites. The presentation includes practical advice that can be implemented immediately. The presentation will be in PowerPoint format with the addition of videos to support the instruction. Sample parts and tools will be passed around to help aid in learning. The presentation will cover fixturing issues, selection of the proper cutting tool depending on the material and application including carbide, diamond coating, and Poly Crystalline Diamond (PCD) tools. How to machine composite materials including: drilling, routing, and trimming. Heat avoidance using programming techniques and how to increase tool life with proper speeds and feeds.State of the Art Composites Machining in Aerospace
Mark Saberton, Chief Engineer, Flow International Corporation
For years the standard for machining composites has been spindle mounted rotary tools. Specifications were written and processes defined around machining composites with these rotary tools.Today rotary tools are being compared to the superior machining capability of the abrasive waterjet. The reason for this is the clear advantages of the waterjet cut quality, lack of damage to the part, cleanliness of the operation and speed of the process. Specifications now are written around the waterjet with processes utilizing rotary tools having to meet or sometimes exceed the performance of the waterjet.This presentation discusses the features and benefits of abrasive waterjet machining of composites. Cutting Composites on Conventional CNC Milling MachinesGerard Vacio, Product Manager, BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling
When underutilized machine tools are switch between multiple materials, they can provide a significant increase in productivity, capability and capacity. As compared to the cost of implementing a dedicated machine tool for these new materials, the cost savings can be significant. New products and process allow manufacturers to cut multiple materials on a single machine tool. For job shops, prototype machinists and small manufacturers unable to dedicate a machine tool to composite manufacturing, this paper identifies the necessary steps to set up a machine to cut multiple materials. Flexibility in manufacturing is gaining in importance so being able to machine new materials on existing equipment and switch quickly between them is paramount to many manufacturers. The resulting increased in utilization of equipment along with the access to new customers and improved utilization of capital equipment as well as resources can be a tremendous benefit to shops. This presentation starts with the machine tool spindle and proceeds all the way through the production components to the workpiece mounted on the machine table. Products and processes that allow manufacturing firms to switch between conventional and composite materials are identified and explained. Click Here
for Tuesday, October 23 Sessions