The aim of this project was to develop lower cost, higher performance composite tooling for use in aerospace part manufacture, evaluated through multiple manufacturing cycles, with the objective of reducing the overall tooling cost of large aerospace projects by enhancing tool longevity.
After completion of the collaborative project, there was significant progress in demonstrating the viability of a development material that showed the potential to offer significant time and cost savings to aerospace tool designers. SHD, working closely with the project partners, developed a prototype material combining an initial low temperature cure (80-90°C), with the ability to be post-cured to achieve a maximum service temperature in excess of 300°C. This cure flexibility enabled the use of low-cost pattern materials and progression to a final production tool without the need for an expensive, time consuming and accuracy-losing intermediate tool phase, or manufacture of an expensive, metallic master model.
The project consortium was Composite Tooling & Engineering Solutions, Applied Graphene Materials and GKN Aerospace as the end-user.