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Thermoform Composite Duct Forming System

developed tooling to form cylindrical HVAC ducting for the 777 from flat thermoplastic composite sheets. The complete process consisted of cutting the sheet to net shape, thermoforming the flat sheet into a rough cylindrical shape, bonding the duct seam to create a closed duct, and thermoforming the ends to join sections. The tooling used high temperatures and pressures to thermoform and consolidate the reinforced thermoplastic laminate material. The initial prototype machine was built and tested by LEI to prove the concept process. It performed well and was later qualified to produce aircraft production hardware.

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