Composites

AUTOCLAVES


AC&A currently has multiple autoclaves up to 9 feet in diameter and 40 feet in length, capable of up to 250 psi of pressure and 500° F temperature. With state-of-the-art computer control over all process variables, including heat up and cool down rates, soak time, vacuum pressures and positive pressurization, we ensure parts are cured exactly to the specified requirements.


PLY CUTTING


AC&A utilizes state-of-the art in-house ply development and digitizing tools, as well as Autometrix cutting tables for all materials. Whether your requirements call for lower-tech, unidirectional carbon tape, or high-tech woven ceramic prepregs, we provide precision cutting solutions that improve accuracy, reduce time, maximize material use, and ultimately save our customers money. Our walk-in freezers store prepregs and film adhesives to 0° F, and feature full data acquisition to maintain and ensure that stored materials are always kept in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications.


CLEAN ROOM FACILITIES


Our state-of-the-art positive pressure layup room is controlled for both temperature and humidity, and includes a data acquisition system to record the environment during a project and provide records to customers as requested. With a skilled staff incorporating years of advanced composite experience, our team can handle the most challenging lamination tasks.


LASER PROJECTION


AC&A has made a significant investment in laser projector technology to aid in precise composite layup operations. Our laser projectors save time, improve accuracy and ensure ply-layup repeatability. Additionally, our laser projection software has the flexibility to allow for quick design changes that flow seamlessly to the ply lay-up process.


OVENS


AC&A facilities include ovens with chamber dimensions up to 16 feet wide by 46 feet long and 8 feet high, with a temperature range of up to 650° F. All ovens have state of the art controls and data acquisition offering 20 ramp/soak segments, soak timing controlled by leading or lagging part temperatures, selection of leading or lagging control logic during a run, and optional manual back-up control capability. Additional capabilities include remote monitoring of system data, real time graphical and tabular display of process variables, and graphic reporting software.


VACUUM CAST URETHANE


AC&A is pleased to be the exclusive third-party provider of RESPECTA VacuCast® products, a proprietary vacuum-cast urethane process of Rampf RAKU-TOOL® Close Contour Products. Cast urethane offers significant advantages over traditional tool manufacturing using tooling board, resulting in void-free mixtures, minimal to no porosity, and a homogeneous granulate distribution. The fully cured tool material has a low coefficient of thermal expansion and excellent abrasion resistance. The as-cast tool results in an extremely dense structure and potentially net surface finish. For surfaces that require finishing, the material machines similar or better to board material. Tools can be manufactured without seams or bond-lines, eliminating any concerns regarding vacuum integrity during use. Example applications for the material include: vacuum trim fixtures, stretch form dies, layup tools for composite prepregs, vacuum forming tools, as well as high temperature tooling applications.


SEAMLESS TOOLING PASTE


AC&A offers seamless modeling paste (SMP) through the use of a Tartler, Nodopox 200 process. Seamless paste tools can be machined to create accurate, high quality homogeneous surfaces for styling models, molds and tool masters. For large projects, a seamless paste process can minimize cost when compared to epoxy tooling board, as well as reduces weight and can be an ideal alternative to monolithic epoxy or urethane board models and mold masters.


Materials Used


AC&A historically has manufactured carbon-based composites, but we are continuously investing in capabilities around next-generation materials. Current material capabilities include:


  • Astroquartz

  • Arimid

  • BMI (Bismaleimide)

  • Bulk Molding Compound (BMC)

  • Carbon

  • Ceramics (CMCs)

  • Epoxy

  • Fiberglass

  • Honeycomb

  • Phenolic

  • Sheet Molding Compound (SMC)

  • Structual Foam