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Advanced Composites Group and Integran Technologies have won the JEC 2011 Composite Innovation Award – Equipment Category for Carbovar – Nanovate -NV surface composite tooling.
The innovation combines the hardness, durability and damage tolerance of the nanometal coating with the lightweight, low thermal mass of a carbon fibre composite mould tool to deliver a durable and cost effective solution. The Nanovate surface is an ultra-hard, nanocrystalline nickel/iron alloy coating that has a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) matching the CTE of the composite mould tool.
According to ACG and Intergran, the Nanovate surface increases the longevity of the mould, becoming comparable to that of a conventional metallic mould tool. Composite tooling saves the energy required for the heat-up and cool-down phases, and the energy required to lift, rotate and manoeuvre them within the working environment, and during the lay-up process (faster material deposition rates).
The development of this metal/composite hybrid mould technology is the result of a 5-year joint collaborative research and development programme between ACG and Integran Technologies Inc. The technology was recently presented during a number of top-level visits to major European and US aerospace composite companies.
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