Elastomer-integrated Composite Grows High-temperature Application Options

Rishon Coupling

RCF Technologies (Vidalia, Ga., U.S.) produces a material called Rishon, an elastomer that integrates the capabilities of rubber into composites. In short, Rishon combines the properties of fabrics and elastomers into a single, homogeneous product.

Including RCF’s proprietary elastomer through the weave of a fabric achieves a novel material with distinctive properties. For example, Rishon operates from -170ºF to +850ºF continuously. It is an FAA-approved fire barrier in thicknesses as low as 0.027″, and it can become a heat and/or flame insulator in thicknesses as low as 0.050″. The material is compatible with almost all fluids on an aircraft, according to RCF, and bonds to virtually all metals and most composites using the parent material in the B-stage as the adhesive. Rishon is a low modulus material, so it absorbs both sound and vibration. It is inherently non-conductive but can become electrically conductive while remaining flexible with almost no added weight. Rishon has also been determined to outgas far less than the strict NASA requirements for space use.

Using Rishon, RCF Technologies has developed a reusable inflatable bladder. The material’s ability to operate at temperatures up to 850ºF, as well as produce hollow, complex shapes reliably, is well suited to function as an inflatable, reusable mandrel for thermoplastic composites manufacture, the company notes. The bladder is inserted into the tool and then inflated to create the necessary pressure. Once inflated, the tool is heated under pressure, enabling the thermoplastic material to cure. After the curing process is complete, the tool is cooled, and a vacuum is applied to pull the bladder. The bladder, having served its purpose as a mandrel, can be easily removed and reused for subsequent manufacturing cycles. Unlike traditional methods and materials, the use of Rishon during the thermoplastics manufacturing process will meet the requirements without compromising its structural integrity.

RCF also manufactures lightweight metal couplings, clamps, isolation mounts, flexible connectors and sealant tapes, insulation, electrically conductive as well as non-conductive parts, seals, gaskets, ducting and many specialty items using Rishon.