Composite Manufacturing Aids

Heat shrinkable tubing is a convenient substitute for films and tapes normally found in composite manufacturing. Heat shrinks provide seamless protection and require less labor- and time-intensive installation than other methods. Saving time, labor, and materials means lower operation costs and improved efficiencies. Industries ranging from aerospace to automotive to anywhere in between can benefit from Zeus heat shrink tubing as a composite manufacturing aid.

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Release Aids

FEP Sub-Lite-Wall® Heat Shrink

Sub-Lite-Wall® (SLW) heat shrink is our family of heat shrink tubing with wall thickness < 0.005″ (0.127 mm). FEP SLW heat shrink is especially adapted for composite manufacturing to replicate thin coverings such as film and shrink tape while providing a full 360° range of surface protection around forming tools or substrates. FEP is highly lubricious, minimizing the opportunities for accidentally sticking to adhesives or resins, providing a clean release and smooth surface of the finished composite part. FEP heat shrink begins recovery at 420 °F (215 °C) – much lower than PTFE – for less heat stress on the composite components. FEP heat shrink is also be supplied in a Lay-Flat™ form that is user-friendly and shipped on bulk spools.

Key Benefits And Capabilities:
  • Custom Sizes And Shrink Ratios Available
  • Approved Contact Material For Composites
  • Silicone-Free

Compaction Aids

Heat Shrink Tubing

Heat shrink tubing can also be used to provide compaction force when curing composite layers. Carbon fiber or wet layers, for example, can be cured into highly engineered components such as satellite struts using heat shrink tubing. The heat used during manufacturing of the composite material leads to recovery of the heat shrink, applying compaction force that assists with curing the final composite part. Zeus provides heat shrinks in resins including FEP and PTFE to provide a range of properties choices for these applications. Other resins may also be possible for compaction heat shrinks.

Key Benefits And Capabilities:
  • Custom Wall Thicknesses Available
  • Wide Range Of Working Temperatures
  • Provides Exceptional Surface Finish For Cured Composite Parts

Resin Transfer Molding (RTM)

Extruded Tubing

Standard and custom extruded tubing can be used as transfer lines in Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) manufacturing processes. The low coefficient of friction in fluoropolymers like FEP, PFA, and PTFE allow for a highly lubricious transfer line of liquid thermoset resin. This lubricity prevents sticking or build-up of the liquid resin within the transfer line, ensuring a steady flow-rate and consistent distribution of resin into the preform within the mold.

Key Benefits And Capabilities:
  • Highly Lubricious
  • Standard Size Offering in Stock
  • Ability To Withstand Pressures Of The RTM Process

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