19 July 2023
Composites UK has today officially launched the latest in its series of good practice guides. Co-funded by the National Composites Centre, this latest edition focusses on Mould Tooling for Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Composites.
Good mould tooling for composites is intertwined with process selection and critical to manufacturing repeatable and accurate parts. Tooling choices are an important part of reducing the environmental impact of parts, potentially reducing energy use and material waste, both in process scrap and failed parts, as well as enabling faster, more cost-effective manufacturing of parts which contribute to our pathway to net-zero in transport, renewable energy, construction and other sectors.
Composites UK would like to sincerely thank the authors of this guide – Nigel Keen, Creative Composite Connections; Stella Job, Grazebrook Innovations; and Richard Bland, Composite Integration as well as the reviewers, Stu Morris, Pentaxia and Michel Marie, Ineos Britannia, and the guides co-funder, the National Composites Centre.
Co-author, Stella Job, said: “This guide provides a wealth of information about a fundamental part of composite manufacturing that is not talked about enough, and it will be a really useful resource. It's exciting to see how things are changing, especially in the area of 3D printed tooling. I hope many others learn as much as I did from reading it.”
The guide includes chapters on:
- Tooling types and specification
- Tooling as the key to process selection
- Tooling design
- Automation and production/process line integration
- Sustainability considerations
- Tooling materials
- Process control, safety and operation
- Tooling durability and service life
- No tool and specialist tooling
- Next steps and future developments
The information within the document is backed up by case studies from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Airtech Advanced Materials, Alan Harper Composites, Composite Integration, Haydale Composites Solutions, Norco Composites & GRP, Plyable, Surface Generation and 11th Hour Racing.
The guide is free-of-charge and available on Composites UK’s website, here