Composite Tooling Materials

Composite Tooling Materials

Aerospace, Automotive and the UAV manufacturing companies in charge of constructing intricate and diverse mechanisms and components require robust tools to fulfil large production demands and specific dimensional requirements. While conventional tools are constructed of metal compounds such as nickel, steel, and aluminum for their reliability, they also provide production life challenges due to their inherent weight, manufacturing costs, and thermal conductivity. Recognizing these difficulties, Fibrotek Advanced Materials is committed to designing and manufacturing composite tooling materials for your business needs.

What are Composite Materials? 

Composite materials are constructed from solid and stiff fibers that are embedded into an impenetrable resin matrix. The reason why composite materials are desirable for the automotive and aviation industries is largely due to their density ration, increased strength, stiffness, and other physical characteristics. Furthermore, there are several advantages to using composite materials in the manufacturing of soft tooling including: 

  • Simplicity in the assembly of complex mechanisms including shapes and design patterns
  • Higher too strength without increasing the overall weight of the tool
  • An overall weight decrease, in the tool itself, by 20 – 50%.
  • Improved tolerance against significant damage
  • Thermal constancy when exposed to rapid temperature changes
  • Fully eliminate the possibility of corrosion issues
  • Increased resiliency against high impacts

With over 20 years of experience assisting clients in the aerospace, UAV, submersibles and automotive industry, our goal at Fibrotek Advanced Materials is to maintain leading tooling manufacturing and engineering criteria by extending the limits of performance and innovation to provide clients with high-quality products and soft tooling solutions that are more cost-effective than conventional hard tooling methods.

Fibrotek Advanced Materials has successfully eliminated all subcontracting expenses for clients while guaranteeing exceptional results from the initial archetype layout to manufacturing your order based on your specification and delivery to your location for convenience. Our team of engineers, project managers, and production staff utilize several composite materials for soft tooling molds. Among constituents used in these composite materials, we can mention:

  • Carbon fiber
  • Kevlar
  • Fiberglass
  • Epoxy and other synthetic thermoset resin
  • Honeycomb

Using various composite materials, we can construct innovative hybrid tools that benefit both hard and soft tools to maximize production achievements and decrease difficulties across the production chain while offering customizable experiences for our clients. Our individually composed frame foundation is constructed of solid aluminum or steel, delivering the demanded Stiffness, strength, quality and low-shrinkage potential

Types of Tooling Methods 

The Fibrotek Advanced Materials warehouse in Canada has internal capacities with numerous innovative machining solutions and software technologies including:

  • 3-, 4-, and 5- axis machining
  • Autoclaving
  • Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing  
  • Assembly
  • Prototype and modeling display for demonstration

As our facilities are well-equipped with robust machines and technologies, Fibrotek Advanced Materials has the capacity to customize your tooling requirements, regardless of how intricate your designs are. There are specific methodologies and diverse composite materials required for the production quality tooling, which is why we are confident in offering clients a diverse range of materials and production styles to get the job done correctly.

Our team understands the imperativeness in manufacturing quality tooling as it has a direct effect on the quality of the produced parts later in the production line. Luckily, Fibrotek Advanced Materials has the expertise to design your tools in-house without the need to outsource third parties. Below is a list of common Fibrotek Advanced Materials’ methods utilized during the production process to manufacture your tools.

Direct Tooling: The direct tooling approach uses molds directly manufactured from a slab of dense material. The materials employed for this tooling method include pieces of polymer, tooling foams, metals, and machinable clays or ceramics.

Indirect Tooling: The indirect tooling approach begins with a master prototype. This original design can be manufactured or an existent product. Once the prototype is made, the mold is cast or overlaid onto it. These molds are frequently manufactured from fiberglass and carbon fiber. However, it is possible to utilize castable polymers, ceramics, concrete, or nickel if needed.

Questions to Answer 

It can be challenging to determine composite materials and manufacturing methods as there are several solutions that you can use. Therefore, before choosing composite material tooling options for your project, consider the following questions that can help you better determine whether composite tooling is the correct method for you and your business needs.   

  1. What is your composite tooling process like?

The Fibrotek Advanced Materials process looks like this:

  1. Initial consultation to meet with our engineers.
  2. Designing of your composite tooling molds to ensure accuracy.
  3. The development of your prototype that will undergo external stressors to ensure durability.
  4. Production of your composite material tools.
  5. Quality control and inspections using HandyScan 3D.
  6. Post-production packaging and delivery.
  7. Can we convert metal products into composite?

Yes, Fibrotek Advanced Materials has the expertise and machinery available to re-design your metal tools into composites.

  1. Do you use third-party subcontractors? 

No, Fibrotek Advanced Materials is committed to overseeing all stages of the product production cycle to ensure superior quality and accuracy. This also helps save clients’ money in the long run.

  1. What inspection standards do you have?

Fibrotek Advanced Materials utilizes numerous measurement solutions by employing innovative scientific software and instruments, including HandyScan 3D, a mobile measurement 3D scanner.

Call Fibrotek Advanced Materials Today

At Fibrotek Advanced Materials, clients can confidently partner with a company who recognizes the intricacy and importance of state-of-the-art aerospace composite material tooling. With years of experience working with clients in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, along with our superior industry authority, our team is well-prepared with the information and manufacturing equipment to deliver you with high-quality products and excellent customer service experiences.

To learn more about how we can assist you with the development of your composite material tools, please call us at (418) -439-0999 to book a consultation call with our team of industry-leading experts. We look forward to working with you.