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Hybrid Invar-composite molds reduce weight and lead time

Ascent Aerospace introduces HyVarC, a patent-pending Hybrid InVar and Composite mold. HyVarC layup tooling offers a cost-effective, light weight, short lead time solution for prototype and development applications.

Hybrid Invar-composite molds reduce weight and lead time

Sean Henson, Product Manager:

HyVarC combines a thin Invar backup structure and facesheet with a bonded, high-temperature composite working surface. The resulting tool is 50% lighter with a 20% shorter lead-time than a traditional Invar layup mold, while maintaining the same superior vacuum integrity and dimensional precision. The hybrid mold capitalizes on the desirable performance characteristics of Invar and composites to offer an ideal layup mold for prototype aerospace parts.

20% shorter lead-time
At half the thickness of a traditional Invar mold, the thin Invar backup structure takes less time to weld and manufacture. It serves as both the master mold and the deliverable mold, eliminating the time and cost of creating a second composite backup structure. Lead times are reduced by at least 20%, compared to an all-Invar or all-composite tool.

50% lighter than an all-Invar mold
Thin Invar, and the resulting lighter weight, is easier to handle when transporting the tool within the facility. It has thermal mass benefits, for faster autoclave cycles each time the customer is curing a part. And as Invar is a commodity by weight, raw material savings can be passed along to the customer.

Superior leak performance and dimensional precision
The machined composite working surface offers better dimensional accuracy than net-mold composite tooling, while the Invar structure provides vacuum integrity and durability. A part fabricated on a HyVarC mold is bagged to the Invar facesheet, which provides vacuum reliability that is independent of the composite surface and does not degrade with age or thermal cycling.

Easily reconfigurable surface
The composite working surface is easily re-machined to support modifications for rapid prototyping and R&D applications. A damaged surface can be repaired with material add (layup) and subtract (re-machine) operations. The base mold can be reused by burning off the composite working surface and laying up an entirely new surface.

Companies: Ascent Aerospace

Industries: Aerospace, Other Composite End-use areas

Terms: Business, Innovations

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This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
Source
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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