Utilizing Fluid-expansible Mold Patents (Class 264/314)
  • Patent number: 9604400
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses for blow molding a fuel tank with multiple concentric needles to form an opening in the fuel tank, and/or for calibrating the opening in the fuel tank as it cools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: TI Group Automotive Systems, LLC
    Inventor: Carl-Hugo M. Mellander
  • Patent number: 9511548
    Abstract: Systems and methods for assembling a skin of a composite structure are disclosed herein. The methods include operatively attaching a charge of composite material to a flexible substrate to define an initial conformation for a composite-substrate assembly and locating the composite-substrate assembly and a layup mandrel proximal to one another. The methods further include pressing the composite-substrate assembly against an outer surface of the layup mandrel to deform the composite-substrate assembly to a final conformation. The methods also include affixing the charge of composite material to the outer surface of the layup mandrel and releasing the charge of composite material from the flexible substrate while retaining the charge of composite material on the outer surface of the layup mandrel. The systems include the flexible substrate, the layup mandrel, and an assembly deformation structure that is configured to press the composite-substrate assembly against the outer surface of the layup mandrel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Daniel M. Rotter, Arvid J. Berg, Joseph D. Anderson, Kurtis Shuldberg Willden, Richard V. Phillips, Stephen Lee Metschan, Brad Andrew Coxon, Joseph J. Pruss
  • Patent number: 9460910
    Abstract: To provide a lamination method and a lamination system capable of excellently laminating a film-type laminate without damage even though the semiconductor is a brittle lamination target such as a foil-type semiconductor or a semiconductor made of highly brittle material. In a lamination method for laminating a film-type laminate to a brittle lamination target by overlapping the brittle lamination target and the film-type laminate and heating and pressing the brittle lamination target and the film-type laminate, with respect to the brittle lamination target mounted on a mount member and carried into a lamination device, an elastic film member is expanded into a vacuum chamber of the lamination device from the above to press and laminate the brittle lamination target and the film-type laminate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA MEIKI SEISAKUSHO
    Inventors: Tomoaki Hirose, Atsushi Okano, Hisanaga Tajima, Takayuki Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 9073240
    Abstract: A method and support apparatus for providing structural support to a mold or mandrel, such as a shape memory polymer (SMP) apparatus configured for shaping a composite part. The support apparatus may comprise a rigid structural member and a plurality of SMP cells attached thereto and configured to inflate or deploy in a malleable state toward and against a surface of the SMP apparatus, mold, or mandrel. Then the SMP cells may be returned to a rigid state while still pressed against this surface, thereby providing structural support when composite material is applied to an opposite surface of the SMP apparatus, mold, or mandrel. After the composite material is cured into the finished composite part, the SMP cells may be deflated or otherwise collapse toward the structural member to provide enough clearance to be removed from the cured composite part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Robert Huelskamp, Joel James Everhart, David E. Havens, Steven Fillmore Hanson, Jeffrey W. Priest, Carl Ray Fiegenbaum, Thomas Joseph Barnell
  • Publication number: 20140379005
    Abstract: Prosthesis to treat hernia, can include a single mesh sheet having biocompatible fibers. It has a flat portion, an unstiffened protuberance formed from the flat portion, and an opening in the flat portion formed by the protuberance having a first diameter. The protuberance includes a proximal portion closest to the flat portion having a proximal portion height, and a distal portion disposed farthest from the flat portion having a distal portion height, a second diameter, and an end of the distal portion is unstiffened. The proximal portion height is a distance from the flat portion to a beginning of the distal portion, and the distal portion height can be a distance from the flat portion to the end of the distal portion. The second diameter is greater than the first diameter, and a first ratio of the distal portion height to the proximal portion height is approximately 1.4 to 3.0.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2014
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Applicant: Herniamesh S.R.L.
    Inventors: Ermanno E. TRABUCCO, Pier Aldo CREPALDI
  • Patent number: 8911656
    Abstract: Methods for manufacturing a composite fan inlet housing are disclosed. The methods include inserting a first piece of composite material and a second piece of composite material into a molding tool, inserting an inflatable bladder between the first piece and the second piece, and pressurizing the inflatable bladder to a curing pressure for a length of time sufficient to allow the first piece and second piece to cure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: William H. Doddman, Robert Saunders Murray
  • Patent number: 8889056
    Abstract: A sports racquet having a plurality of string port holes and conventional string holes is formed of a single tube of prepreg material. When molded, mold elements press opposed portions of the prepreg tube into contact with one another, and shape the adjoining prepreg material into a string port hole blanks. The portion of the pressed-together material which initially blocks the string port hole is removed after molding so that the string port holes extend through the frame. Alternatively, the mold elements cause the prepreg tube to follow a serpentine shape, thereby defining string port holes which are open alternately along the top and bottom surface of the frame. A pair of cover rings may be secured to the top and bottom racquet surfaces to cover the open sides of the string port holes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Prince Sports, LLC.
    Inventors: Roberto Gazzara, Mauro Pinaffo, Michele Pozzobon, Mauro Pezzato
  • Patent number: 8877116
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a wind turbine blade shell part comprising fiber material impregnated with cured resin is described. The method comprises the steps of: a) providing a first mold part having a first forming surface with a contour that defines at least a part of an outer surface of turbine blade shell part, b) arranging fiber material in the first mold part, the fiber material comprising fibers of a magnetizable material, c) providing a resin in the first mold part simultaneous with and/or subsequent to step b), and d) curing the resin in order to form the wind turbine blade shell part or wind turbine blade. The fiber material is retained against the first forming surface by use of magnet means during step b) and/or step c).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: LM Glasfiber A/S
    Inventor: Peter Grabau
  • Patent number: 8865039
    Abstract: Molds and processes that permit high-speed, mass production of retaining wall blocks having patterned or other processed front faces, as well as retaining wall blocks formed by such processes. The invention permits the front face of the block to be impressed with a pattern or otherwise directly processed, to allow the formation of pre-determined block front faces, while at the same time facilitating high-speed, high-volume production of blocks. A mirror image of the desired pattern can be created on a stripper shoe by selecting a desired three-dimensional surface from a naturally occurring or man made object and digitally scanning the selected three-dimensional pattern to create scanned data. The scanned data can then be used to machine a face of the stripper shoe that is the mirror image of the selected pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Anchor Wall Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald J. Scherer
  • Patent number: 8778117
    Abstract: A method for producing an integral reinforced fiber composite component comprising at least one hollow fiber reinforcing component and a shell component is disclosed and can include first providing a mold core having a target cross-section deviating from a round cross-section adaptable to an inner cross-section of the hollow reinforcing component, introducing the mold core into a cavity of the hollow reinforcing component and fixing it thereafter in the cavity with a fixing agent applying the hollow reinforcing component with the mold core fixed therein to the shell component, and subjecting the mold core to a pressurized medium while applying heat and/or pressure to this arrangement to produce the integral reinforced fiber composite component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Tobias Dorawa, Torben Jacob
  • Patent number: 8758006
    Abstract: Processes for manufacturing hollow structures such as spars for helicopter rotor blades, fixed wings for aircraft, and other aerostructures can include the provision of a path for gases to exit the material from which the spar is formed as the material is heated and cured, to help eliminate voids within the material caused by the presence of such gases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Inventor: Franklin D. Carson
  • Patent number: 8741199
    Abstract: The present application relates to a full wafer nanoimprint lithography device comprises a wafer stage, a full wafer coated with a liquid resist, a demolding nozzle, a composite mold, an imprint head, a pressure passageway, a vacuum passageway and a UV light source. The present application also relates to an imprinting method using the full wafer nanoimprint lithography device comprises the following steps: 1) a pretreatment process; 2) an imprinting process; 3) a curing process; and 4) a demolding process. The device and the method can be used for high volume manufacturing photonic crystal LEDs, nano patterned sapphire substrates and the like in large scale patterning on the non-planar surface or substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Qingdao Technological University
    Inventors: Hongbo Lan, Yucheng Ding
  • Patent number: 8721952
    Abstract: A method (and apparatus) for nano lithography, includes applying a pneumatic pressure to at least one of a surface of a semi-rigid mask or template and a portion of a surface of a resist-coated workpiece, and, by the applying of the pneumatic pressure, transferring a pattern from the mask to the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew E. Colburn, Yves C. Martin, Theodore G. van Kessel, Hematha K. Wickramasinghe
  • Patent number: 8714961
    Abstract: A press with a pressure chamber and a lid. The chamber is filled with a substantially incompressible medium and the medium at least partially encloses an elastomeric pressure vessel. The vessel is filled with a substantially incompressible fluid that is in fluid communication with a pressurized source of the fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Inventor: Jamin Micarelli
  • Patent number: 8673193
    Abstract: A roller nanoimprint apparatus is disclosed which is capable of preventing a workpiece film with nanostructures having been transferred from the mold roller from being uneven in thickness and allowing easy replacement of the mold roller. At least one embodiment of the present invention is directed to a roller nanoimprint apparatus including a mold roller and continuously transferring nanosized protrusions to a surface of a workpiece film by rotating the mold roller, wherein the mold roller is a cylindrical body having an outer circumference surface with nanosized recesses formed thereon, the roller nanoimprint apparatus further includes a fluid container having an elastic film inflatable by injecting fluid into the container, the fluid container being arranged in a region defined by an inner circumference surface of the mold roller, the mold roller is mounted or demounted when the elastic film is shrunken, and the mold roller is supported from the inside when the elastic film is inflated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Nobuaki Yamada, Akiyoshi Fujii, Hidekazu Hayashi, Tokio Taguchi
  • Patent number: 8652370
    Abstract: A hot isostatic pressing method is disclosed wherein workpieces are accommodated within a high pressure vessel and the interior of the high pressure vessel is filled with an inert gas of a high temperature and a high pressure to treat the workpieces. The method includes a cooling step which is performed after maintaining the interior of the high pressure vessel at a high temperature and a high pressure for a predetermined time and in which a liquid inert gas is fed into the high pressure vessel. According to this method it is possible to shorten the cycle time of an HIP apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Kobe Steel, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takao Fujikawa, Tomomitsu Nakai, Makoto Yoneda, Shigeo Kofune, Yoshihiko Sakashita, Masahiko Mitsuda
  • Patent number: 8652380
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a rim for a bicycle wheel includes wrapping plys of fibers in a resin matrix around a mandrel; curing the plys to form the rim; and reducing a size of the mandrel to allow the mandrel to be removed from the rim.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Reynolds Cycling LLC
    Inventors: Paul Lew, Richard A. Steinke
  • Patent number: 8641404
    Abstract: An optofluidic lithography system including a membrane, a microfluidic channel, and a pneumatic chamber is provided. The membrane may be positioned between a pneumatic chamber and a microfluidic channel. The microfluidic channel may have a height corresponding to a displacement of the membrane and have a fluid flowing therein, the fluid being cured by light irradiated from the bottom to form a microstructure. The pneumatic chamber may induce the displacement of the membrane depending on an internal atmospheric pressure thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: SNU R&DB Foundation
    Inventors: Sunghoon Kwon, SeungAh Lee, Wook Park, Su Eun Chung
  • Patent number: 8632712
    Abstract: An internal stiffening member of varying configurations in which the stiffening elements support the skin using a compression-only load path is disclosed. A rib can be inserted into an assembled structural box beam, and a filler material can be used to fill any gaps between the slip-in rib and the interior surface of the structural box beam. The filler material is preferably an expandable material, such as an expandable foam-type material. However, in situations where a slip-in rib forms a primary structural rib, the filler material is preferably a structural adhesive or liquid shim material. A solid adhesive or filler would not crush under the clamping forces from fasteners or bolts at localized fitting attachments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: James Donn Hethcock, Rodney H. Jones
  • Patent number: 8623262
    Abstract: In a method for manufacturing components from composite fiber materials, at least one placeholder is inserted into a recess in a molding tool, wherein the unfinished component is subsequently produced, the placeholder is removed, at least one lifting pad is inserted into the recess and the unfinished component is removed from the molding tool by inflating the lifting pad. In a system for manufacturing components from composite fiber materials, the component removal process is monitored and controlled by a computer unit in order to prevent predetermined maximum component loads from being exceeded. The gentle component removal process makes it possible to avoid consequential costs for repairing or reworking the components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Manuel Jung, Michael Bechtold
  • Publication number: 20130341816
    Abstract: A material forming apparatus and method for shaping a material to a forming tool having complex contours. The material forming apparatus may comprise a bladder sealed to a support structure, cooperatively forming a hollow space therebetween into which air or another gas may be pumped to inflate the bladder. The forming tool may comprise a protrusion of any shape to which the material may conform. The material may be placed between the bladder and the protrusion and the support structure may be actuated toward the forming tool. As the support structure progresses toward the forming tool, an area of material pressed against the protrusion by the bladder increases in an outward direction. A pressure regulator may regulate an amount of pressure applied to the material by the bladder as the bladder presses the material against the forming tool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2013
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Applicant: Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
    Inventor: Blaise F. Bergmann
  • Patent number: 8609007
    Abstract: A green pneumatic tyre is built on a rigid toroidal support externally having a forming surface of a conformation corresponding to the inner shape of a tyre. The green tyre engaged on the expandable toroidal support is introduced into a vulcanisation mould and submitted to a vulcanisation cycle. During vulcanisation, axial moving apart of side portions of the toroidal support is caused so as to press the beads and sidewalls of the tyre against the vulcanisation mould.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Pirelli Tyre S.p.A.
    Inventors: Maurizio Marchini, Marco Cantu, Pierangelo Misani
  • Patent number: 8591796
    Abstract: In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, methods for molding and curing of composite articles are provided. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a molding apparatus including an elastic layer disposed on a rigid support and a mold disposed on the elastic layer and the support. In one embodiment, the mold includes an inner surface, the inner surface further including a molding surface, and wherein a first surface of the elastic layer and the inner surface of the mold define a molding chamber. In one embodiment, a prepreg is further disposed within the molding chamber, wherein the prepreg is disposed on the first surface of the elastic layer. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a fluid via a fluid inlet against a second surface of the elastic layer, thereby expanding the elastic layer against the inner surface of the mold, and pushing the prepreg against the molding surface of the mold to form a molded composite article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Bruno Betoni Parodi, Julian Thomas O'Flynn, Thomas Kluge, Thomas Koerwien
  • Patent number: 8551373
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a process for producing reclaimed casting sand, which has step (I) of grinding recovered sand in the presence of an additive (A) containing a liquid having a surface tension of not higher than 35 mN/m at 25° C. and a boiling point of not lower than 150° C. at 1 atmospheric pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Kao Corporation
    Inventor: Yoshimitsu Ina
  • Patent number: 8540915
    Abstract: Molds and processes that permit high-speed, mass production of retaining wall blocks having patterned or other processed front faces, as well as retaining wall blocks formed by such processes. The invention permits the front face of the block to be impressed with a pattern or otherwise directly processed, to allow the formation of pre-determined block front faces, while at the same time facilitating high-speed, high-volume production of blocks. A mirror image of the desired pattern can be created on a stripper shoe by selecting a desired three-dimensional surface from a naturally occurring or man made object and digitally scanning the selected three-dimensional pattern to create scanned data. The scanned data can then be used to machine a face of the stripper shoe that is the mirror image of the selected pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Assignee: Anchor Wall Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald J. Scherer
  • Patent number: 8501073
    Abstract: The invention provides a device for injecting a resin into at least one fiber layer of a fiber-reinforced product (5) to be manufactured, comprising a mold (2, 3) having a mold cavity (4) that is surrounded by a mold wall for abutment of the product thereagainst in the closed condition of the mold. A rigid part (3a, 3b, 3c, 3d) of the mold wall is movable with respect to another part of the mold wall in the closed condition of the mold so as to ensure a continued abutment of the movable part of the mold wall with the products when shrinkage of the resin caused by curing thereof takes place subsequent to the injection process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Fokker Landing Gear B.V.
    Inventors: Tjaard Sijpkes, Peet Vergouwen, Bert Thuis
  • Publication number: 20130183087
    Abstract: Molded articles are described herein having a surface feature thereon, the articles being formed so as to include a polymeric composite material having reinforcing fibers in a polymeric matrix material. The surface feature(s) is created during heat molding of the polymeric composite material to form the article and the surface feature(s) include the polymeric matrix material and the reinforcing fibers therein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2013
    Publication date: July 18, 2013
    Applicant: GREENE, TWEED OF DELAWARE, INC.
    Inventor: Greene, Tweed of Delaware, Inc.
  • Patent number: 8434587
    Abstract: A purpose is to provide a tubular body soundproof cover and a covered tubular body, for which elastic deformation of the tubular body is unlikely to be inhibited. The tubular body soundproof cover includes a sound absorbing layer arranged on outside in an axially perpendicular direction of a tubular body having tubular body side curved sections; a skin layer arranged on outside in the axially perpendicular direction of the sound absorbing layer; and cover side curved sections arranged on outside in the axially perpendicular direction of the tubular body side curved sections, including at least a portion of the sound absorbing layer and at least a portion of the skin layer. The cover side curved sections have non-adherent sections in which the sound absorbing layer and the skin layer are not bonded over the entire circumferential length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuki Era, Hiroyuki Ochiai
  • Patent number: 8431061
    Abstract: A method for use in manufacturing a ceramic matrix composite article includes assembling a ceramic fiber sheet between a tool and a die, where the tool is conformable to the shape of the die and the melting point of the die is greater than the melting point of the tool. The assembly is then heated to soften the tool. At least one of the tool, the die or a separate inflatable member is then pressurized to conform the tool and the ceramic fiber sheet to the die. Next, the assembly is cooled and the pressure is vented before removal of the tool and ceramic fiber sheet from the die. A preceramic resin with a catalyst is then applied to the ceramic fiber sheet and cured at a curing temperature that is below the melting point of the tool, to form a preform. The tool is then removed from the preform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey B. Stout, Mark Andrew Fitzsimmons, Chad Schepel
  • Patent number: 8425827
    Abstract: A ball striking device has a head that includes a metal face configured for striking a ball, a rearwardly extending metal band, a top piece, and a bottom piece. The metal band has a first end extending from one side of the face, a second end extending from the opposite side of the face, and a rear portion extending between the first and second ends and defining at least a portion of the rear periphery of the head. The top piece and the bottom piece are non-metallic or substantially non-metallic. The top piece is connected to the top side of the metal band and forms at least a portion of a top side of the head, and the bottom piece is connected to the bottom side of the metal band and forms at least a portion of a bottom side of the head. The top piece and the bottom piece are separated by the metal band.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Nike, Inc.
    Inventor: David S. Lee
  • Patent number: 8409487
    Abstract: Processes for manufacturing hollow structures such as spars for helicopter rotor blades, fixed wings for aircraft, and other aerostructures can include the provision of a path for gases to exit the material from which the spar is formed as the material is heated and cured, to help eliminate voids within the material caused by the presence of such gases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Inventor: Peter G. C. Dixon
  • Patent number: 8394310
    Abstract: An inflatable compaction tool for consolidating a composite material inside a faceted hollow or tubular mold for a composite part is made from an elastic material. The compaction tool includes relatively flat wall segments conjoined by corner segments that define a sealed chamber. The wall segments curve away from the mold surface toward the midpoint of each wall segment, so that as a pressurized fluid is introduced into the compaction tool, a component of the force exerted on the tool interior surface is transmitted through the wall segments toward the corner segments. Thus, during initial inflation, the corner segments are forced toward the corner regions of the mold before the wall segments contact the composite material, firmly compressing the composite material into the corner regions of the mold before the friction of the wall segments against the composite material inhibits expansion of the corner segments into the mold corner regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Steven F. Hanson, Amitabh Vyas
  • Patent number: 8366984
    Abstract: A method of forming a composite article from a work piece at elevated temperatures and pressures. The method steps include disposing within a pressure chamber the work piece in contact with a mold, disposing a substantially incompressible medium in the chamber so that the medium is capable of transferring a substantially uniform predetermined pressure to the surface of the work piece, disposing within the substantially incompressible medium a fluid filled elastomeric vessel in fluid communication with a source of high pressure fluid so that the vessel is capable of causing a substantially uniform predetermined fluid pressure to the substantially incompressible medium, and causing the vessel to produce a pressure in the range of 400 to 20000 psi (2.8 to 138 MPa) to be applied to the substantially incompressible medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Inventor: Jamin Micarelli
  • Patent number: 8337740
    Abstract: A complex-shaped, three-dimensional fiber reinforced composite structure may be formed by using counteracting pressures applied to a structural lay-up of wetted fibers. The wetted fibers are arranged on pressurizable members and may be configured to include internal structural features, such as shear webs. A reinforcement stiffener may be located adjacent to at least one of the pressurizable members and the wetted fibers that form the internal structural feature. The reinforcement stiffener includes a modulus of elasticity that is substantially higher than a modulus of elasticity of the resin used to wet the fibers. In one embodiment, the reinforcement stiffener may be received in a pocket of one of the pressurizable members and may include a releasing agent that permits removal of the stiffener after the composite structure has been pressurized and cured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Inventor: William L. Rodman
  • Patent number: 8303882
    Abstract: A method of making a composite material article includes, in an exemplary embodiment, providing a pre-impregnated preform formed from a plurality of reinforcing fibers and a polymer matrix, positioning the preform on a flat base plate, positioning a pressure bladder on top of the preform, and positioning a bridge tool above the pressure bladder. The bridge tool includes a top plate and at least one support member. The support members are coupled to the base plate with the top plate spaced above the pressure bladder. The method also includes enclosing the preform and bridge tool inside a vacuum bag by sealingly attaching the vacuum bag to the base plate, drawing a vacuum in the vacuum bag to remove air and volatiles from the preform, and then applying pressure to the preform by inflating the pressure bladder to consolidate the preform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Howard Daniel Driver
  • Patent number: 8262971
    Abstract: A method for centralising and retaining a molded end coil (20) in a magnet former (12) which includes an oversleeve (24) for retaining the end coil in position, the radially outer (A2) surface of the end coil being of lesser diameter than the radially inner surface of the oversleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Siemens Plc
    Inventor: Simon James Calvert
  • Patent number: 8246889
    Abstract: An optofluidic lithography system including a membrane, a microfluidic channel, and a pneumatic chamber is provided. The membrane may be positioned between a pneumatic chamber and a microfluidic channel. The microfluidic channel may have a height corresponding to a displacement of the membrane and have a fluid flowing therein, the fluid being cured by light irradiated from the bottom to form a microstructure. The pneumatic chamber may induce the displacement of the membrane depending on an internal atmospheric pressure thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: SNU R&DB Foundation
    Inventors: Sunghoon Kwon, SeungAh Lee, Wook Park, SuEun Chung
  • Patent number: 8215945
    Abstract: An apparatus for forming a hollow FRP article by internal pressure molding includes a vacuum chamber, a forming die positioned in the vacuum chamber, a vacuum-chamber opening/closing mechanism, a composite-body support device for supporting a composite body without making the composite body come into contact with the forming die in a state where the forming die is opened by the vacuum-chamber opening/closing mechanism, the composite body including an airtight internal-pressure holding tube and a prepreg fitted on said airtight internal-pressure holding tube, an evacuation system for evacuating the vacuum chamber, an internal-pressure supplying device for applying pressure to an inside of the internal-pressure holding tube, and a controller for actuating the vacuum-chamber opening/closing mechanism to clamp the forming die to thereby bring the forming die and the composite body into intimate contact with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Fujikura Rubber Ltd.
    Inventors: Norio Matsumoto, Akiyasu Higuchi, Masaki Wakabayashi
  • Patent number: 8038923
    Abstract: One method of forming a part includes deforming a shape memory polymer from a permanent shape into a temporary shape, where the permanent shape of the shape memory polymer is a predetermined part shape and the temporary shape is a shape larger than the predetermined part shape. The shape memory polymer in each of the permanent shape and the temporary shape defines a cavity therein. The method further includes introducing a molding material into the cavity of the shape memory polymer, and reverting the shape memory polymer back into its permanent shape. Other methods for forming the part are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Elisabeth J. Berger, Ingrid A. Rousseau, John N. Owens, Hamid G. Kia
  • Patent number: 8034263
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a multi-layer panel having a curved reflective and/or transmitting facing layer that includes the steps of increasing and/or decreasing pressure on a side of a thin membrane to form a pressure differential across the thin membrane that causes the thin membrane to deform to a required shape; applying a first layer of material to an outer surface of the thin membrane while the thin membrane is maintained in the required shape by the increase and/or decrease in pressure, and allowing the first layer of material to cure for a pre-determined time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Musion IP Limited
    Inventor: Uwe Maass
  • Patent number: 8034278
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for molding composite bodies into composite parts using pressure. A lower inflexible mold is combined with an elastic upper mold layer to form a molding cavity in which the composite body to be molded is placed. An elastic pressure layer is used in combination with the upper mold layer to form a pressure chamber. A flexible expansion control layer is used to limit the increase in surface area of the pressure layer during pressurization. A perimeter retention lock is provided to prevent the perimeters of the elastic and flexible layers from moving inward or away from the lower mold during application of pressure to the pressure chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Hexcel Corporation
    Inventor: Alfonso Lopez
  • Patent number: 8012397
    Abstract: A method of forming a fishing rod with at least one integrally formed support includes providing a bladder over a mandrel, wrapping a resin-impregnated material over the bladder to provide a wrapped resin-impregnated material, removing the mandrel from the wrapped resin-impregnated material, folding the wrapped resin-impregnated material onto itself at least once to form a tubular body, wherein folding the wrapped resin-impregnated material forms at least two separate bladder portions and the integrally formed support within the tubular body, placing the tubular body into a mold, and molding the tubular body to provide the fishing rod with the integrally formed support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Inventor: Swee Leong Loke
  • Patent number: 8007624
    Abstract: Method of manufacturing wind turbine blades having composite materials is provided that includes selecting an outer mould part, selecting an inner mould part, wherein at least a part of the surface of the inner mould part comprises a compressible layer being covered by an airtight membrane, positioning the composite materials in a mould cavity between the outer mould part and the inner mould part, evacuating the mould cavity, and bonding the composite materials, evacuating the compressible layer before positioning the composite materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Henrik Stiesdal
  • Patent number: 7993565
    Abstract: Disclosed is a folding and shape-forming apparatus for a prepreg which includes a vacuum chamber which can generate a vacuum pressure in the inside thereof, an expanding portion disposed inside the vacuum chamber, provided with a prepreg thereon, and expanding because of the vacuum pressure inside the vacuum chamber, a heating portion disposed inside the vacuum chamber for heating the prepreg, a mandrel loaded at a portion of an upper surface of the prepreg, a first pressing portion which is brought into contact with an upper surface of the mandrel to press the mandrel, and a second pressing portion which simultaneously presses both another portion of the upper surface of the prepreg and the expanding portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jae Hak Kim, Joong Won Han, Jae Hwan Lee, Do Young Lee, Jin Hyun Kim
  • Patent number: 7981331
    Abstract: A method for repairing a wear-induced void associated with a surface of a component including applying a heat-cured ceramic material to the wear-induced void, wherein the heat-cured ceramic material is configured to substantially fill the wear-induced void and providing a volume of material to a bladder configured to retain the volume of material and expand in one or more directions, wherein at least a portion of the bladder is further configured to apply at least one of pressure and heat to the heat-cured ceramic material. The method further includes applying at least one of pressure and heat, via the bladder, to the heat-cured ceramic material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Karen R. Raab, Beth A. Howe, Cody A. McIntyre
  • Patent number: 7976760
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and a device for producing a structure made up of at least two bodies in a cavity of a mold defining the structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Inventor: Marcus Gaudoin
  • Publication number: 20110156304
    Abstract: A method for producing a die tool includes forming a substantially complete face plate of the die tool utilizing an additive manufacturing process, forming a support structure of the die tool independently from the face plate, and coupling the face plate with the support structure. A die tool for use in composite manufacturing includes a face plate and stiffening structure integrated with the face plate. The stiffening structure forms one or more hollow channels that transport fluid for heating or cooling during the composite manufacturing. A die tool for use in composite manufacturing includes a face plate and a support structure coupled with the face plate. A ratio of weight of the support structure to weight of the die tool is less than 0.33.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2010
    Publication date: June 30, 2011
    Inventors: Bryant Walker, Raymond Walker, Ralph Anderson
  • Publication number: 20110152016
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for manufacturing at least a portion of a sports racquet frame that comprises a step a) of providing a moldable tube structure containing a first inflatable bladder and a second inflatable bladder. The first and second inflatable bladders are positioned on opposite first and second regions of the moldable tube structure. At an intermediate region, the tube structure comprises one or more cross channels, which pass through the moldable tube structure. The method according to the present invention comprises also a further step b) of inserting said tube structure inside a mold forming a mold cavity of a desired shape. Mold members are inserted into the cross channels of the tube structure, so that the outer surface of the mold member faces the inner surface of the corresponding cross channel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2010
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Inventors: Robert Gazzara, Mauro Pinaffo, Michel Pozzobon, Mauro Pezzato
  • Patent number: 7910039
    Abstract: A press includes a pressure chamber filled with a substantially incompressible medium that at least partially encloses an elastomeric vessel filled with a substantially incompressible fluid that is in fluid communication with a pressurized source of the same fluid. Method and systems employing the press are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Inventor: Jamin Micarelli
  • Patent number: 7910038
    Abstract: A method for making a preform includes creating a pressure differential between an inside and an outside of a perforated shape memory polymer mandrel in its temporary shape. The pressure differential is such that pressure outside the perforated shape memory polymer mandrel is greater than pressure inside the perforated shape memory polymer mandrel. The perforated shape memory polymer mandrel has i) a predetermined preform shape as the temporary shape and ii) a shrunken shape as its permanent shape, wherein the shrunken shape is configured such that it is removable from the predetermined preform shape. The method further includes depositing, as the pressure differential is maintained, at least one material onto a surface of the perforated shape memory polymer mandrel. The at least one material is set in the predetermined preform shape, thereby forming the preform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Hamid G. Kia, Ingrid A. Rousseau, Elisabeth J. Berger, John N. Owens