Increased composite tool life

The challenge to improve composite tools

Haydale approached Prodrive UK, who agreed to produce a tool for one of their higher volume programs. Composite tools are not as robust or as long lasting as metallic tools, so the challenge was to improve the product by incorporating graphene into the resin system.

The Haydale tooling was designed with these performance uplifts in mind:

  • Extended tooling life.
  • Reduced tooling costs.
  • Better surface quality.
  • Tighter tolerance parts.
  • Improved homogeneous cure.
  • Significant reduction in mismatch in the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) between materials when compared to metal tooling.
  • Provides options for the thermal management of components.

The Results

The ongoing trial has produced more than 500 plus parts from the first tool, with no noticeable deterioration in the tool surface. The tool is still in use at Prodrive, so the final number of parts is yet to be confirmed and being monitored. We are very excited to know what the final number of cycles will be.

Prodrive’s Director of Business Development, Matt Bradney said:

“We have been producing duplicate parts with both our standard and the nano-enhanced version and can say with confidence that the Haydale material has delivered more than 500 parts without any deterioration of the mould surface. Using the standard version, we would expect approximately 250 pulls from a tool before it is replaced.”

Why not explore how our functionalised graphene-enhanced composites can revolutionise your approach to manufacturing?

Haydale is committed to being your strategic partner in innovation, and we look forward to the opportunity to discuss how our cutting-edge materials can elevate your business to new heights.

What are the Commercials?

There are several elements that build up the cost of producing a tool. It’s important to factor in the overall cost saving of the associated elements when considering a graphene enhanced alternative. Here we see examples of where the reductions can be made, overall making it a greener and more cost-effective solution. The tooling prepreg is available in all the standard carbon fibre reinforcement weights – 200, 650, 800 or 1000gsm.

It is processed in the conventional way, so there are no changes to the standard production processes. This product is available in high volume through a fully accredited and established UK supply chain, with global shipping available.

Getting to Net Zero: Sustainability

Is this a greener solution? With the composites industry becoming more heavily focused upon reducing its carbon footprint this system has a very strong case in driving towards that goal, which should be of interest to the automotive and aerospace OEMs and high-volume industrial manufacturers as they all have environmental targets to meet.

Any product that lasts longer and reduces raw material usage and energy consumption is therefore more environmentally friendly. Any product that reduces waste material and use of consumables inevitably reduces the impact on the environment, either by the cost of recycling or the cost of going to landfill. And at this time of increased costs for production energy and a drive to use less fuel for shipping, any reduction should be well received.

For further information please contact:

Simon Green

Nick Weatherby