Tooling Engineering for the Thermoforming and Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic process begins at the part design stage. When a part concept is brought to McClarin Composites, our tool makers work closely with the customer and designers. This enables us to design a tooling package that will take advantage of all available technology and develop new methods of part production. Our goal is to provide the customer with the highest quality finished part for the best spent capital investment on tooling.
Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Tooling
Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic tooling begins in much the same way as Thermoformed tooling. A wooden pattern is computer control machined from a part file. The pattern surface is then finished out to a class A automotive finish. This finishing process utilizes a coating of filled polyester resin. Once the pattern is ready a special tooling resin and glass system is used to make a reversal of the pattern. This reversal is braced using wood, steel and aluminum to reinforce and hold its original shape. The reversal that is now braced will be used as the production mold. The production mold surface is also finished to a class A automotive finish. The final quality of the finished part directly relates to the efforts taken in the pattern and mold surface finishing stages. A poorly finished surface on either the pattern or mold will result in a fiberglass part that is of a lesser surface quality.
Fiberglass parts are trimmed using either a 6 axis high speed robot or manual trimming and drilling jigs. The fixtures used for part trimming by the robot are constructed of aluminum and also use a vacuum assisted fixture.
Like thermoformed tooling, if a fiberglass part requires any subassembly, then similar fixtures are constructed to aid in that function.