Eos Molds and Layups at Delta Airlines
Posted on March 16, 2015 by Toni Carlstrom.
Last week our team began the process of building the Aerodynamic shell of our vehicle. We had the opportunity to us the Delta Tech Ops Composite shop at the Minneapolis/St.Paul Airport. The week started off rough, with both molds cracking during transport due to thermal shock. We will be sure to find a functioning heater for our trailer, next time. However, we got to try out our new winch and it worked great!Once at the Composites shop, we unloaded our molds and repaired them. There was a well-ventilated sanding area and the Delta employees supplied us with extra tools as we needed them. We are very grateful for the use of their shop. They are allowing us to come back for another week, because we were unable to finish all of our lay-ups due to the cracking of our molds.
This week has been a great learning experience for a young team. The completion of our first wet lay-up took patience and trial and error. Along the way, everyone got a little sticky, and everyone had fun! The composites shop has a large Autoclave that we were allowed to use to cure our part in. Just for reference, our mold base is over 6 across and 16 long.
Once the wet fabric is laid on the mold, the part is vacuum bagged and all of the air is sucked out of it to push the fabric against the surface of the mold. The mold was then baked in the autoclave for 12 hours to cure the epoxy resin and hardener, which formed a hard plastic interwoven with carbon fiber fabric. Composites like these are often used on aircraft and spacecraft, and are extremely strong for their weight.