Making a better mould

A new modelling material enables mouldmakers to build lay-up tools rapidly and at up to 70% less cost than for conventional tooling techniques.

Vantico and Boeing’s Rotorcraft Division have developed a new modelling material and process that they claim enables mouldmakers to build lay-up tools rapidly and at up to 70% less cost than for conventional tooling techniques.

These savings stem from the use of low-cost commercial grade aluminium honeycomb that is cut to the profile of the final tool, but some 10mm under the final surface coordinates. This honeycomb core forms the main body of the tool and also the base onto which the RP 4040 patty is applied to form the tool surface.

The patties, which do not need to be stored under refrigeration, are rolled directly onto the honeycomb and merge readily into one homogenous layer. This layer is left a few mm proud of the final cut line, eventually to be machined away to provide the accurate tool surface once the tool has been cured by heating up to the temperature it is to be used at.

Vantico

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