Superior quality and unmatched expertise under one roof.
Curing composite components using an autoclave is one of the most proven methods for curing pre-preg thermoset materials. It allows for achieving high-quality surface finishes, and greater ply consolidation, as well as more significant control over the curing process assuring the accuracy of the fiber placement for Class A and structural requirements.
We specialize in the production of autoclave-cured components, maintaining specific cure cycle parameters based on materials and process specifications. Our expertise extends to advanced knowledge of various composite materials, including carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar, and the tooling configurations that are appropriate for our customer’s project goals. We use the autoclave methodology to support a variety of business verticals for substantial-volume and low-volume projects.
Reducing cost without reducing quality.
By curing components without the use of an autoclave, we reduce energy and tooling costs. Using out-of-autoclave manufacturing methods, we can support substantial volumes as well as improve cycle times.
We specialize in multiple autoclave manufacturing methods, including oven curing traditional wet layup application of the material. Our variety of expertise allows us to customize production to the customer’s needs.
Matching the tools to your project.
Given our expertise and decades of experience in manufacturing composite parts in a variety of industries, we are highly skilled at designing and building composite production tooling.
We understand the complexity of creating composite parts that have dimensionally accurate and/or class-A requirements. We study each project and establish the best build methodology for each part based on its geometry and GD&T requirements. We use this capability on our internal production lines as well as a service for aerospace companies.
Ideal cosmetic standards and adept tooling solutions.
We understand the complexities of designing bladder molding solutions that can yield the required geometry and volume for our customers’ projects. We are always looking to push the development of tooling solutions to create opportunities for our customers that can drive costs down without compromising the quality of components.
Bladder molding is an especially useful method of composite part manufacturing when the parts have complex geometry and high-quality requirements for both their internal and external surfaces. We use this method when producing high and low volumes of small and medium-sized components and also to minimize secondary processing requirements.
Large runs with first-rate productivity.
We can create sophisticated parts with high-volume runs in a timely and efficient manner using compression molding. At SMI, we have the capability and in-depth experience in processing a variety of composite materials like Kevlar, carbon fiber, and fiberglass using this methodology.
Our twin composite presses allow us to manufacture large-volume production runs. This process uses matched metal tooling, that is pre-heated to a specified cure temperature rapidly decreasing the per part cycle times. By selecting an appropriate resin system for the application we can cure components in roughly 25 minutes or less and in as short as 3 minutes using a “snap cure” resin system in some cases.
Flexibility meets efficiency.
We use cast molding as a tooling option because it’s a cost-effective and time-efficient solution that is easily repeatable while at the same time flexible enough to modify direction with minimal impact on the project’s outcomes. The flexibility and repeatability allow us to produce components with complex surface geometry that would typically require expensive tooling solutions, at a competitive price. This method is a great solution for lower volume production and prototype development of a part.
Our far-reaching experience coupled with our comprehensive equipment allows us to deliver the best possible solutions and innovations to our customers. Every time.
Let’s design something together! We are ready to get started on your next project. Contact us today for a comprehensive quote.