Thermal Expansion Molding Process for Aircraft Composite Structures 800612
Thermal expansion molding is a low-cost manufacturing method for fabricating fiber-reinforced-resin composite structures. In its simplest form, the tooling is self-pressurized by thermal expansion of solid “rubber” blocks inside a closed hard mold box. To provide closer control of molding pressure, hollow rubber blocks may be pressurized from an external source. A procedure for sizing castable rubber tools is explained, and several examples of integrally molded complex structures are shown.