ESS TOOL Syntactic toolboard

ESS Prepares New Product Launch at CAMX 2017

Tough. Durable. Low coefficient of thermal expansion.  ESS-TOOL™ delivers all of the properties expected from high performance, intermediate temperature tooling board plus enhancements to cut machining time in half and increase ramp down curing rates at 2X or more as compared to today’s industry standards.

Leveraging 30+ years of experience in materials science, Engineered Syntactic Systems (ESS) has developed a new line of epoxy and thermoplastic tooling boards for the composites industry.  These tough and machinable materials are an excellent choice for composite fabrication in pre-preg and autoclave cure, wet lay-up, vacuum infusion and other composite processes.   They may also be used for constructing forming tools, master models, fixturing and other heat resistant applications.

ESS-TOOL 250 is the newest addition to our tooling board family. With enhanced properties for toughness and durability, it is designed for use at temperatures up to 250°F (121°C).  The material is engineered with a unique cell structure to reduce machining time and a polymer system that enhances toughness.  The result is faster machinability with superb surface qualities to reduce machining and polishing time. The enhanced toughness allows ramp down rates of up to 4°F/minute (2°C). Users can produce models and tools with great precision and dimensional stability.

ESS TOOL ramp time graph

ESS TOOL ramp time graph

Visit ESS at CAMX 2017 at booth N71 from September 11-14 the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

Subway ventilation panels

Engineered Syntactic Foam as Structural Material

Syntactic foams have long been used as buoyancy materials in subsea applications due to their extremely high hydrostatic strength and stiffness at relatively low densities.  This unique combination provides designers a source of lift for vehicles and structures operating in the deepest ocean environments.  Manned submarines, AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) and ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) all rely on syntactic foam in performance of their missions.

There are many other applications where the distinct properties of syntactic foam have also been employed.   Syntactics are excellent as low-to-moderate weight core materials for composite structures. The cellular structure of the material also makes them excellent thermal insulators, especially in situations where high strength may be required. Syntactic materials are utilized in transducers because the dielectric properties remain constant at depth.    As with most highly filled substances, the material is also dimensionally stable over a wide temperature range making it an ideal candidate as tooling for polymer or composite processing.

Challenging environments in the building and construction sectors are also areas where syntactic foam is now being used.  For example, syntactics are well-suited to the specific requirements of subway emergency ventilation panels.  Such panels must perform structurally but also be lightweight for ease of installation.  With the same strength as concrete at 20% of the weight, syntactic panels are cost-effective and highly efficient. The panel material must also be non-corrosive and resistant to water absorption over its lifetime.   Two additional properties are critical in this environment.  First, because the panels are used in an enclosed environment with direct human access, the material must pass stringent fire standards, most unusual for a product typically found hundreds or thousands of meters below the ocean surface.   Second, the need for clear radio communication in emergency tunnels is paramount for safety.  RF communication signal loss has been specified at less than 1.5 db over a wide frequency range. Syntactic panels are radio frequency wave transparent, thus meeting signal loss criteria.

We have been working on Low Flame, Smoke and Toxicity (LFST) products for use in civil infrastructure applications with new materials that have been tested and approved using ASTM methodology. Click here to see our time-elapsed video or get in touch with us to discuss your specific application.