Innovative Tooling Solutions from Solvay and Composites One

The tools used in composites manufacturing have a significant impact on the precision of the end composite part, as does the tool building processes itself. Quality tool building is critical to achieving a high-quality composite part through composites manufacturing processes. Tooling materials must have the stability and durability to perform during high-volume production cycles.

Composites are a common choice of materials used to create tooling because of the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) match between the tool and the composites parts being produced, enabling the manufacturing of more precise parts and complex geometries. With the ability to be processed at low temperatures, composite tools are lightweight with good mechanical performance and durability and an excellent surface finish. Using composite tooling in composites manufacturing processes mirrors the benefits of composite products—increased quality, performance, and cost-efficiency, as compared to metal, steel or aluminum.

Composite tools are made using similar methods and materials as in producing composite parts. Commonly used materials in composites tool building that help achieve high performance and surface quality include:

  • Sealing, fairing, priming, and surfacing plugs and patterns
  • Open mold tooling
  • Closed mold tooling
  • Elevated temperature tooling
  • Repair and refinishing

 Composite tooling solutions

The right tooling material can achieve a quality mold surface to help produce quality composite parts. Composites One distributes Solvay epoxy and BMI-based tooling materials to our North American customers for aerospace, marine, transportation, and wind energy applications. With innovative Solvay tooling materials from Composites One, manufacturers in these and other industrial sectors can use composite tooling to achieve surface quality and performance in composite parts.

Innovative tooling solutions from Solvay include the LTM10® series tooling prepregs, which are low-temperature curing epoxy resin systems that are suitable for manufacturing all-sized tools. In addition to our exclusive distribution partnership with Solvay, Composites One supplies tooling materials and supplies from leading manufacturers, including epoxy, polyester/vinyl ester, and gel coat for tooling.

Our product selection and technical application experts can help determine the right tooling materials for your job, complete with manufacturing, design, and technical support.

Learn more about Solvay tooling products from Composites One. 

Watch our video on prepreg tooling.