Ascent will produce a set of lay-up tooling, consisting of four individual molds, to make the 777X’s composite wing skins.
Ascent will produce a set of lay-up tooling, consisting of four individual molds, to make the 777X’s composite wing skins.

Coast Composites LLC, an Ascent Tooling Group company, has been awarded a contract from Boeing to make what it says is the largest ever wing skin molds.

Ascent will produce a set of lay-up tooling, consisting of four individual molds, to be used at Boeing’s new facility in Washington, USA, to make the 777X’s composite wing skins.

Coast Composites will make the molds with its modular tool building system, based on the company’s laser welding technology. Tooling segments will be made of Invar, a specialty steel alloy selected to match the thermal expansion properties of the composite material used for the wing skin. Invar segments small enough to transport on conventional roads will be shipped to the Boeing facility then assembled on site. After welding in Everett, the final wing skin tools will measure over 110 ft long and up to 21 ft wide and weigh approximately 80,000 pounds each.

‘As aircraft evolve, our capabilities, designs and processes have advanced to meet new challenges,’ said Paul Walsh, president and COO of Ascent Tooling Group. ‘We developed our innovative modular tool building system to accommodate the ever-increasing size of aircraft tooling.’

Coast Composites has previously built 26 wing skin molds.

This story is reprinted from material from Ascent Aerospace with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.