Water Soluble Mandrels, Cores, Tooling
“THE RIGHT SHAPE”
SOLTEC makes water soluble removable Mandrels, Cores, Tooling for your composite application (SOLCORE). With years of experience in the composites market, our skilled team excels in delivering a product with the high-standards you want and expect. Soltec supports the aerospace, medical, defense and motorsports as well as other high-end industrial markets.
Soltec is located in Tucson Arizona and specializes in the development and fabrication of water removable mandrel tooling materials (Water Soluble) and finished mandrels for low temp (thermoset plastics) and high temp (thermoplastics) complex composite applications. These applications include air ducts, stringers, spoilers, manifolds, winglets, rotor blades and a wide variety of other applications. With over 20 years of experience in trapped tooling and water removable mandrels we have developed and engineered systems that afford production of even the most complex composites. Where break down or removable tooling is needed we can help. Water removable cores (mandrels) are only one of mandrel solutions to trapped configurations. Our goal is the work directly with our customers to find the best solution for the specific application not just the solution that uses our products. We have designed and implemented many different applications ranging from collapsible tools to memory shape mandrel tooling. Again the goal is the solution that make makes the customer successful.
Soluble Mandrels Raw Material
Soltec offers a eutectic salt based raw material for sale direct to the customer. These high melt temperature materials are utilized in extreme complexity parts normally not producible with other soluble mandrel systems. We offer either finished parts in these materials or supply the raw powder to customers for internal mandrel formation. Our standard line of plaster based production mandrels utilizes Solcore that is manufactured inhouse. Mandrels produced with these materials are fabricated in house to customer requirements utilizing proprietary techniques and internal quality to ensure the customer is always making the “THE RIGHT SHAPE”
Besides existing customer tools, Soltec designs, develops and fabricates in house tooling with a range of vertical machining centers up to 60 inch. We have the ability to rapidly produce tooling from either aluminum of tooling board depending on the end use application. We have produced over 400 tools for aerospace applications ranging from 2 to 200 inches in length and continue to innovate novel tooling solutions. We stock large aluminum and polyurethane block raw material to make sure we are not limited by supply issues in order to start your job immediately.
A pioneer in Rapid prototyping water soluble mandrels, we offer in house 3D printing and design. Rapid part turn around and small run production normally fits well with this technology. Larger volumes and rate are better tooled and produced serially. We offer both Powder based mandrels for higher temperature cure application up 400’F and soluble plastic FDM mandrels for applications up to 265’F. Customer provided design can quickly be assimilated into the desired platform and produced within a matter of days for most applications.
Our inhouse CMM and ISO Quality system ensure the least amount of impact on a customers internal resources to ensure part quality. Standardized reports and testing can be included in any production plan. Very few inhouse mandrel production facilities have the necessary resources to ensure mandrels are always the correct shape BEFORE the composite is produced. We strive to replace the steps necessary to produce hollow composites by providing the initial Internal shape. By eliminating this (usually dirty) process from your facility, you are able to grow the attributes of your company in the area that materials most “The Final Part”. We take the messy aspect of these tooling approaches and spread dedicated resources of many customers projects to reduce the cost associated with manufacturing.
Soltec also offers thermoforming parts direct to customers. Utilizing either customer supplied legacy tooling or a customer approved design we can take a part from concept to approval. We stock a variety of approved aerospace materials with traceability and are approved to manufacture to several OEM specifications. We are also able to reverse engineer legacy parts if needed to define the necessary digital information to reproduce the parts. We also offer a full range of internal testing processes to validate and qualify thermoplastic materials to the customers specification. Many times older legacy parts produced to a manufactures specification are not available and must be independently tested. We have an internal lab to mitigate this process which can significantly add to cost and schedule in any legacy part production.
High Temperature Thermoplastic Tooling
Another novel area we have experience is in the utilization to produce tooling in 350’C plus applications that require a hollow composite structure utilizing new advanced thermoplastic composites such as PEEK, PEAK and PPS. Our high temperature tooling affords the user the opportunity to produce composites in an area that is only starting to be realized for both performance and rate optimization
Helping You with Composite Applications
Soltec can provide a broad selection of composite, water removable tooling solutions for your design. Our innovative creativity helps us to think outside the box to find a solution to any design challenge we’re given. Quality is our priority and your satisfaction drives us to bring you the highest standards we possibly can. We work with a variety of advanced materials which helps us to focus on the finest details of your composite application. Contact us today so we can help you find the right solution!
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