During my graduation I have been working on the optimization of the rubber press. This press is used in aerospace because it is a universal contra mold. This keeps molding costs for a plain low. With these presses it is possible to produce curved body panels made from a flat plate. As an aircraft is made out of many different shaped parts, costs for molds should stay low. Since the rubber acts as a universal contramal, mold costs can be kept low. It is therefore important that the extra used counter molds in the concept I invented are not that product related. Here also the rubber takes over the funtion of adjusting molds to counter molds due to its flexibility. The disadvantage of this forming technology are the high deformation forces needed. These had to be reduced so small firms with light presses could also start using this production technique. With this new way of rubber pressing deformation forces could be reduced by a factor 50. Backspring was reduced by a factor 3.
This compared to the standard Guerin rubber press. Reducing backspring means that the mold does not need to be adjusted that much before production starts to reach product definition. The new rubber press is based on the concept of stretch bending. A sketch can be seen here.
The head department professor told me he thought it strange and funny that nobody had thought of my idea before me. The idea was so simple, functional and effective and straight forward to invent.
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