Almost everyone has seen composite moldings during their everyday life. A good example of a composite created by molding and modeling are parts for race cars. Race cars are designed and created to be lightweight, sturdy and streamlined. Composite moldings help to achieve these results. So, what exactly is molding and modeling? In this blog we will try and answer that question.
Molds in respect to composites are somewhat similar to what you may see in model airplanes,boats and other toys created to be put together. Composite molding is basically a process of molding two or more materials to create a single mold composite.
Commonly, this process includes using materials like resin and fiberglass together with the end result consisting of a strong, often flexible component that can be used to create a final product. Composites created from resin and fiberglass can be used to create finished products like boats, car outer shell parts and surfboards.
The initial molding phase is an important part of the production of the final item designed for markets. This phase is crucial in the development process and is only put into process after the design is configured. It’s important to note that the model composite material itself is also put to strenuous test to check for strength and durability. As you can see from above, the process of creating the mold consist of a number of steps ensuring the mold created is of the correct materials for the final product. While there are a number of different materials used for composites, the molding process for a particular creation must take a number of factors into consideration before deciding what components should be used for the composite.
Composite modeling, another crucial process to creating products containing composites is best described as a model with a number of model partitions. These model partitions are formed to create a finished product. Again, we see examples of models in various products throughout the world. Without focusing too much on race cars, these are a prime example of how composites modeling is used to create lightweight fenders, spoilers and other parts on the vehicle. It’s interesting to note that composite modeling when used to create vehicle parts has been used for quite a few decades. You may want to try a search on the internet or go to a museum where older race cars may be housed. Here you can see some really amazing examples of composite modeling used to create parts for race cars. It really is pretty fascinating to see how composites made their debut and how much has changed over the years in advancements.
Let’s take a look at some other examples of composite modeling. While automotive industry and the race cars in particular may have been one of the first to use this type of technology, we also see modeling in a number of other products and vehicles.
The aerospace industry has also taken advantage of the many benefits of composites and modeling. Here we see composite moldings and modelings used for much of the shuttles and modules that are sent into space. The lightweight design, flexibility and durability of composite models have allowed us to go places where as a vehicle made of steel may have not be able to reach.
This achievement in itself has changed the course of history and a number of landmark accomplishments have been reached due to the use of composite models. Can you think of any other examples of composite models?
How about helicopter rotor blades? Yep, it’s true. The use of composite materials has help to achieve amazing results for blades. The need for flexibility, strength and longer life have all been obtained by using composites in the models for helicopter blades. Additionally, we also see this technology used when creating wind turbine blades and aircraft used by the military. The United States Air force used composite materials and modeling to create the Stealth fighter jet. What’s interesting about the Stealth fighter is the use of modeling materials has allowed the jet to not be detected by radar, hence the name “Stealth.” Yes, composite moldings and modeling combined have helped to create some pretty fascinating tools we use to travel and in some cases, stealth mode.
The above article is designed to give you some examples of how models and molding are used when it comes to working with composites. Composite material creation and it’s final products are dependent on the process of molding and modeling. Without these two processes, a final product ready for the market can never be obtained. Be sure to look around for some great examples of molding and modeling when you’re out in town. You may see something that makes you think, “How did they do that?” Hopefully, this blog may have helped answered that question!