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Tooling It Up for Composites

From Boeing 787s to new Navy destroyers, fiber-reinforced composites are gaining in use. As production scales up, more-efficient manufacturing remains a focus. One key to that efficiency is tooling for composites. These molds and forms give the final shape to a part, and are often integral to their final curing.

Raising the Stakes with High-Speed Aerospace CNCs

In the aerospace world, as in all sectors of manufacturing, the race is on for faster, more automated and connected machining operations. Aerospace builders have steadily pushed for more automotive-like automation over the past several years in order to improve productivity and more effectively handle large order backlogs in commercial aviation.

Cutting Tools for Use with New Aluminum-Compound Materials

New work materials are developed continually to improve the capabilities of finished parts, making them lighter and stronger, among other properties. When these materials catch on, cutting tools must adapt to their often challenging properties.

Conductive Thermoplastics for 3D Printing

As inventive and imaginative as 3D printer technology is, so are the materials that R&D labs have come up with to build parts, including conductive thermoplastics.

Smashing Silver Microcubes Toughens Up Materials

Scientists at Rice University (Houston) are smashing tiny silver cubes into a hard target in order to make these metallic microcubes ultrastrong and tough by rearranging their nanostructures upon impact.

Searching for the Perfect Lightweighting Recipe

Lightweighting is so established it’s now part of marketing for new vehicles. Automakers routinely detail how much less models weigh than their predecessors. General Motors Co., for example, has said a range of its vehicles is anywhere from almost 250 lb (112.5 kg) to 700 lb (315 kg) lighter.

Honeycomb Heroes: Making Composites for Aerospace

There’s an old saw that if bumblebees were aeronautical engineers they would know they can’t fly. Quite apart from the miracle of their flight, bees also happen to make a lightweight structure of surprising strength, just the sort of thing you’d want if you were building aircraft: honeycomb.

Advanced Technologies Supplement: Processes Reduce Composite Costs

Composites engineers are expanding their craft to build more complex, durable parts at higher production volumes. One way they are achieving this objective is by using infusion-molding processes based on Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) and Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM).