The PB Vault - Tooling/Industrial - Coastal Enterprises
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The PB Vault - Tooling/Industrial

Welcome to the PB Vault!  You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.  Most everything you need to know about using Precision Board high-density urethane.  If it’s not here, give us a call at 800-845-0745 or send us an email and we’ll look into it.  Your question could end up in the vault!

Select a category of information below or type your question into the search bar to get started.

What is Precision Board high-density urethane tooling board?

Precision Board urethane tooling board is a versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly high-density polyurethane material that is particularly effective for creating tools, prototypes and molds.  It is a closed-cell rigid substrate that does not rot, warp or crack.  Precision Board has a uniform surface with no knots and is easily cut with a CNC, laser engraver, water jet or carving tools.

More info:
PBLT
PBHT

What is the primary use of Precision Board urethane tooling board?

With its roots in Aerospace, Precision Board High-Density Urethane Tooling Board is specifically engineered to meet the demands of a broad range of tooling and tool making applications. Both PBLT Tooling Board (<200º F) and PBHT Tooling Board (<300º F), possess excellent machining characteristics and dimensional stability for tool making. Precision Board HDU Tooling Board is ideal for soft tooling and rapid prototyping because it can be more rapidly machined and it is more economical than alloy or epoxy-based alternatives. Geometric growth in the use of composites in aerospace, automotive, wind, energy and other industries has opened up new markets for this versatile tool making substrate.

More info:
Tooling Landing Page

What does density mean and how does it relate to high-density urethane?

Density is the standard term for determining weight of a cubic foot of material, any material. A cubic foot is a cube that is 12″ x 12″ x 12″. Its weight is the density. The higher the density the thicker the cell wall and the tougher and heavier it is. Thicker cell walls mean it takes more pressure to crush the cell wall. Heavier means there is more material in its makeup, so it costs more. The only physical difference between a 4-pound density Precision Board and a 75-pound density Precision Board is the thickness of the cell wall. The cell wall thickness only determines toughness and has no effect on its weather-ability, solvent resistance, etc.

Precision Board is available in the following densities (click on individual densities for data sheet information): 468101215182030344048607075.

More info:
Material Selection Guide

Videos:
Density explained in 22 seconds

What size sheets is Precision Board available in?

Precision Board HDU is available in 8 standard sheet sizes with thickness ranging from ½” to 24” in ANY increment, giving you more choices to get the best yield per sheet.  We also offer custom sheet cutting within these standard sheet sizes.  Precision Board is available in the following sheet sizes: 20”x60”, 24”x60”, 30”x80”, 48”x60”, 4’x8’, 4’x10’, 5’x8’, 5’x10’.

More info:
Custom Sheet Cutting

Videos:
Precision Board Sheet Sizes

How many thicknesses are there and why is this important?

Our material is made on the premises and not farmed out, so we can cut your Precision Board sheet to any thickness from 1/2″ to 24″ in ANY increment.  This means that you can not only get 1″, 1.5″ or 2″ thick sheets, but you can go as high as you want up to 24″.

Is Precision Board a polyurethane-based material?

Yes. Precision Board is a specially formulated urethane that is designed for higher curing temperatures than standard urethane tooling boards. Both PBLT & PBHT are uniquely formulated with “Green” Eco-Friendly components. Coastal is proud to be part of the USA Greening Team.

What is the difference between PBLT and PBHT Precision Board?

Precision Board High Density Urethane (PBLT = Precision Board Low Temp) from Coastal Enterprises is made specifically for applications of up to 200° F continuous exposure.  Precision Board High Density Urethane (PBHT = Precision Board High Temp) is made specifically for applications of up 300º F continuous exposure.  You can consult our Material Selection Guide to determine if your project needs PBLT or PBHT and in which density.

More info:
PBLT
PBHT
Material Selection Guide

What type of router bits should I use to machine Precision Board?

Precision Board is non-abrasive and is designed to cut clean even using standard HSS cutters. For more information regarding bit selection for your specific project, contact your router bit manufacturer.

More info:
Router Bit Selector Guide
Speeds and Feeds settings with Onsrud
Speeds and Feeds settings with X-Edge
Speeds and Feeds settings with Techno CNC
Speeds and Feeds settings with MultiCam
Picking a CNC Router Part 123

Videos:
CNC Routing of Precision Board HDU Playlist on YouTube

Are there any machining differences between PBLT and PBHT?

Is either PBLT or PBHT abrasive?

No. Precision Board, both PBLT and PBHT, contains no abrasive components or fillers. This means standard high-speed steel (HSS) cutting tools may be used.

What is the CTE of PBLT and PBHT?

Both materials have a CTE of 26 x 10-6. Call us if you have any questions.

What can I use to bond Precision Board to make larger sections?

Precision Board can be easily bonded with high quality epoxy adhesives. Coastal Enterprises makes a very easy to use, machinable grade, high-strength epoxy called EP-76. It machines, sands and carves very smoothly. Contact Coastal Enterprises for more information and helpful bonding tips.

More info:

EP-76 Epoxy Adhesive
Adhesives
Custom Bonding

For butt bonding pieces together to make them longer/wider or for laminating sheets to make them thicker, what kind of adhesive is recommended?

Coastal Enterprises makes, and therefore recommends, a one-part urethane adhesive, PB Bond-240, that is specifically designed for these purposes. PB Bond makes it very easy to perform both types of bonds. PB Bond is waterproof and solvent proof. Check out the data sheet and also the application sheet.

More info:

PB Bond 240 Adhesive
Adhesives
Custom Bonding

Can Precision Board be used for tool path verification?

Yes.  Prior to machining complicated substrates, proofing your tool paths with Precision Board Tooling Board can save you from costly programming errors.

Precision Board can be used to run your tool paths and discover inaccuracies in the programming ahead of time and correct them before final machining.

Errors that are caught during proofing can come from a variety of sources, such as glitches in the CAM software or even a programming error. These will be identified and corrected during the proofing using Precision Board.

Give Coastal Enterprises a call today at 800-845-0745 to discuss the best Precision Board density choice for your tool path proofing.

Can I fiberglass over Precision Board?

Yes. Precision Board is compatible with virtually any resin system, whether polyester, vinylester or epoxy-based.

What are typical Shore D hardness ratings of Precision Board?

Call us for specific hardness information or check our on-line Data Sheets at www.precisionboard.com.

Is Precision Board more expensive than marine plywood?

Precision Board may be more expensive initially on a square foot basis depending on the type of wood. However, since it comes in 8 standard sizes of 20″x60″ up to 5′ x 10′ and in thicknesses up to 24″ thick, there is usually no laminating or surfacing required. The savings in laminating labor, equipment usage, and shop flow time will usually more than make up the initial cost difference.

Precision Board is environmentally-friendly. Why is this a big deal?

Precision Board now has Eco-Friendly, environmental safeguarding, Green components. This state-of-the-art formula is not only easier on the planet but has also created a much tighter, finer cell structure, making it much easier to carve, prime, and paint; more chips, less dust. Carbon footprint = 3:1. Rapidly Renewable Materials = 23.9%. No VOC’s, Non-Toxic, Totally Inert, and no Carcinogens. Made in the USA.

More info:
Green Facts

Where can I receive more information about Precision Board products?

For information, technical assistance, or help with a quote, call us at (800) 845-0745 or visit the website at www.precisionboard.com.  You can also download the mobile app in the App Store or Google Play. We are here to help. Click here for a free sample of Precision Board.

More info:
Website
Mobile App (Apple)
Mobile App (Google)

Are there specific oven/autoclave ramping procedures necessary for Precision Board during the heat up and cool down cycle of curing?

Yes. Precision Board, being an organic material is not a heat conducting substrate like aluminum or steel, and therefore must be heat cycled differently. Precision Board takes longer than metal to completely absorb heat into it during the heating cycle. It also releases heat slower than metal during the cool down cycle.

More info:
6 Quick Tips for Tooling with Precision Board
Ten Tips for Tooling with Precision Board

What is the typical oven/autoclave ramp up and ramp down procedures?

Temperature ramp up should not exceed 1°F per minute. This allows the temperature to be evenly absorbed during heat expansion, which will reduce possibility of internal stress and warping. Temperature ramp down should not exceed 2°F per minute. This allows the temperature of the tool to come down slowly, so contraction does not cause internal stress and cracking in the thin sections of the tool. In thick tools with thin webs or sections, the cool down should be even lower. Prior testing is always recommended before heat cycling on actual tool.

More info:
6 Quick Tips for Tooling with Precision Board
Ten Tips for Tooling with Precision Board

Are the ramping temperatures different for PBLT or PBHT?

No. When in doubt with either material, extend ramping times.

More info:
6 Quick Tips for Tooling with Precision Board
Ten Tips for Tooling with Precision Board

How much vacuum pressure will Precision Board withstand?

Since all organic materials tend to soften when heated, the maximum pressure allowed is much less on Precision Board than on aluminum or steel. Both PBLT and PBHT, at maximum service temperatures, should not be subjected to pressures over 30psi. The lower the maximum curing temperature, the higher the pressure both materials can tolerate. It is always best to test for deformation pressure in the actual oven/autoclave and at curing temperature being used to determine specific maximum pressure.

Is it necessary to hold down or "dog" Precision Board to the vacuum table or oven support fixture during heating and cooling?

Yes. Due to the internal stresses that are occurring in the tool during the heating and cooling part of the cure cycle it is important to hold the Precision Board tool flat. However, due to the differential of expansion and contraction between the Precision Board lay-up tool and the support structure it is crucial that they be allowed to move independent of each other. It is always a good idea to securely, not excessively, hold PBLT and PBHT tooling to the machining table to support the piece during ramp up and ramp down. Dogs, or equivalent, every 2′ +/- is adequate. Remember not to over tighten which will restrict horizontal expansion and contraction and possibly damage tool and composite laminate.

What about using a Precision Board composite layup tool for production runs?

For production runs it is better to use the Precision Board tool as a “master tool” to reproduce “production” tooling. This method allows for multiple production tools to be made from one Precision Board master. This is a very effective way to make lower cost, faster completion, production tooling.

Does Coastal Enterprises fabricate custom support fixtures for machining and layup tools?

Yes. Coastal Enterprises will fabricate a support fixture for any Precision Board tool. This support tool can be used for tool transport, CNC machining, lay up of composite laminate, oven/autoclave curing, final inspection, and every other process procedure. Support structures are designed with all direction casters, leveling jacks, and tool hold down attachment that can be tightened during machining, etc. and loosened during oven/autoclave cycling. The custom hold down attachment has independent movement from the table.

Do I need a mold release on either PBLT or PBHT if laying up directly against it?

Yes. Mold releases are designed to be used against all tooling surfaces so that after cure cycle, the composite part can be released and removed from the layup tool without damaging the tool or the part. Care must be taken when choosing a release agent to be sure it will not outgas during the composite heat curing cycle and affect resin cure. Always test a sample part to verify mold release compatibility with your chosen prepreg or composite laminate.

Can Precision Board be used for prototyping?

Yes! Precision Board is easy to machine, can hold tight tolerances and can be finished to a smooth surface profile making it a great choice for use in prototypes. By using Precision Board, you can make lightweight, cost-effective prototypes in less time.

More info:
Material Selection Guide

Can Precision Board be used for foundry patterns / casting patterns?

Yes.  You can use a variety of densities for casting patterns, from PBLT-48 all the way up to higher densities like PBLT-70 and PBLT-75.  Precision Board is easy to work with and cost effective.  It has excellent dimensional stability to create accurate casting parts.  If you’re not sure what density of Precision Board to use for your project, take a look at our Material Selection Guide for reference.

More info:
Lost and Foundry: Restoring a WWII Era 16″ Lathe
Material Selection Guide

Can Precision Board tooling be dry-ice cleaned/blasted?

Yes.  We had Cold Jet, a pioneer in dry ice blasting and global expert on dry ice technology, dry ice blast a PBLT-70 tool coated with FSC-88 WB Primer.

The results? Dry ice cleaning removed the primer and left the Precision Board HDU surface smooth and with no visible surface deterioration.

The test replicated cleaning contaminants off of a fouled mold without damaging the material, allowing for multiple cycles of cleaning and resealing of a Precision Board tool.

More info:

Cold Jet Dry Ice Cleaning of Precision Board Tools

Dry Ice Blasting Playlist on YouTube

Are custom-bonded blocks and sheets of Precision Board readily available?

Yes – Coastal Enterprises will fabricate any size and shape, small to extra-large, sheet or block tool to meet your specifications. This allows you to immediately start the machining process on arrival with no bonding delay. Custom bonding not only reduces machine time but saves on material costs as well. Fast turnaround times are our specialty.

More info:
Custom Sheet Cutting
Custom Bonding
Custom Tooling Blocks
Custom Mandrels
Custom Bonded Blocks Saves You Time = Money
CR Onsrud Routed a Porsche 917k from a Precision Board Bonded Block
Custom Bonding Playlist on YouTube

Are custom-bonded layup tools available?

Yes. The Aerospace and Automotive industries have relied on us for years to bond custom Precision Board Tooling Board tooling blocks for their unique composite layup tooling needs. From small and simple to large and complex, we offer fast turn around and competitive pricing on custom tooling board blocks. We can take the guesswork out of building your composite lay up tool. Working from a CAD drawing of your tool, we’ll design and fabricate a custom block using Precision Board that is ready for machining. Virtually any shape, size or level of complexity, our bonding expertise will help you keep your project on schedule and on budget.

More info:
Custom Sheet Cutting
Custom Bonding
Custom Tooling Blocks
Custom Mandrels
Custom Bonded Blocks Saves You Time = Money
CR Onsrud Routed a Porsche 917k from a Precision Board Bonded Block
Custom Bonding Playlist on YouTube

Are custom mandrels available?

As a trusted leader in custom-bonded tooling solutions, Coastal Enterprises Company is pleased to announce the addition of our custom-bonded mandrels for filament-wound tank and pressure-vessel producers. Mandrels can be of any size rectangle or square shape.

Our custom-bonded Precision Board mandrels are designed to enable manufacturers of filament-wound tanks, cylinders and pressure vessels to be more accommodating to last minute design changes. A Precision Board mandrel can help reduce machining time for prototypes or low-volume projects.

Rigid polyurethane mandrels are beneficial to hydraulic, gas, hydrogen, compressed air, and general-purpose filament-wound tank and pressure vessel producers. Companies in the composites, aerospace, marine, oil & gas and other related industries can save on labor and time through this innovative tooling method.

More info:
Custom Sheet Cutting
Custom Bonding
Custom Tooling Blocks
Custom Mandrels
Custom Bonded Blocks Saves You Time = Money
CR Onsrud Routed a Porsche 917k from a Precision Board Bonded Block
Custom Bonding Playlist on YouTube

Is custom sheet-cutting available?

Coastal Enterprises Company is pleased to offer custom sheet cutting within any of our standard Precision Board HDU sheet sizes, saving you time and money. Custom-cut pieces are delivered to your shop ready to be worked on. Clean-cut drops/remnants included. We have 8 sheet sizes ranging up to 5′ x 10′ and in thicknesses of 1/2″ up to 24″.

If you need 1 1/8″, you don’t need to buy 1 1/2″ and machine it down. Similarly, if your project needs 3 3/4″ thickness, you can get it at that thickness to start with rather than starting with 4″ and machining it down.

This saves time and material and delivers your Precision Board HDU at the exact shape and size you need to get to work.

We can cut a variety of shapes and sizes, including basic geometric shapes, diameters and radiuses. In most cases custom-cutting is done with no additional charge.

With more standard sheet sizes than anybody else, better yield opportunities are available.

More info:
Custom Sheet Cutting
Custom Bonding
Custom Tooling Blocks
Custom Mandrels
Custom Bonded Blocks Saves You Time = Money
CR Onsrud Routed a Porsche 917k from a Precision Board Bonded Block
Custom Bonding Playlist on YouTube