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Proceedings Paper

Reusable shape memory polymer mandrels
Author(s): Matthew C. Everhart; Jaime Stahl
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Paper Abstract

Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (CRG) has recently demonstrated the feasibility of filament winding complex compound-curved composite shapes on shape memory polymer (SMP) mandrels. Under thermal stimuli, SMPs can exhibit a radical change from a rigid polymer to a flexible, elastic state, and then back to a rigid state again. SMP tubes were fabricated using CRG's Veriflex, a thermoset SMP resin system. The SMP tubes were raised above the transition temperature, the temperature at which the SMP becomes pliable and rubber-like and inflated inside a clamshell master metal mold with a cavity in the shape of the desired mandrel. The SMP was then cooled; the lowering of the temperature allows the SMP to become a rigid structure again, resulting in an exact replica of the cavity without the need of air pressure. A composite part was filament wound onto the SMP mandrel and after curing of the composite, the SMP mandrel is again raised above the transition temperature. This allows the mandrel to return to its memory shape for easy extraction. This paper will demonstrate and discuss the feasibility of SMP mandrels for filament winding and fiber placement composite manufacturing techniques allowing for quick, easy, and low cost mandrels that are dimensionally accurate, autoclave-tolerant, rapidly removable, and reusable .

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5762, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (5 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.600345
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew C. Everhart, Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (United States)
Jaime Stahl, Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5762:
Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Edward V. White, Editor(s)

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