Taking a high quality vacuum mold from an existing part can damage or destroy it.
In the case of flight surfaces or feathers - canard, vertical upright, and wing - it requires a 3 step process:
Taking a delicate impression (called a splash)
Taking a vacuum bagged master from the splash
Taking a vacuum bagged mold (called a tool) from the master
A frame with a 10 inch header was fabricated
to hold the 90 inch canard
It was our goal to produce a master and mold that can
produce a canard of any width up to 110 inches wide
After two splashes were made A & B, they were moved 12 inches
to the left and right and a third center splash C was made
tying the 3 together equaling a total width of 110 inches
Vacuum bagged master 110 inches
In the background of this picture, you can see the
original red 90 inch canard with the 110 inch splash behind it
Murdo and Happy the dog below
Inner skin of the mold consists of fiberglass
and 2 layers of +/- 45 carbon
Another layer of fiberglass and a 5/8 inch thick 25 lb density foam
2 additional layers of +/- 45 graphite
The white material is peel-ply and the green is Airtech's Flow Medium
Note: The spiral Tube is installed in the peel-ply parameter 8-10
inches off the part to be infused. This created the vacuum line.
Mold under full vacuum
Resin Infusion Spiral Tube runs full length down the
center line of the mold with 3 cross tubes.
Note: This shows two infusion ports 3 feet apart
Infusion Bucket and two shut-off valves
Vacuum Pump and Gage
This pump is capable of 27.5 inches of mercury
Infusion in Process
It took 22 minutes for total wet out
This mold is capable of oven and auto clave temperatures of 250 degrees.
Where the shop vacuum line is installed, hot air can be put in for a post cure.
The bagging film and tacky tape will withstand 350 degrees if required.
The original Fred Leland canard used as a master (red on right) is 90 inches in length.
Our new mold (left) can produce any size up to 110 inches.