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Alan Harper Composites Launch Morphing Runner

  • Tuesday, 1st March 2016
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

Alan Harper Composites (AHC) will be displaying its new morphing runner system that offers a resin infusion media made so permeable that it dramatically speeds up resin flow and yet consumes absolutely zero resin itself and is able to be reused hundreds of times, at JEC World.

AHC does not believe that the industry will continue to accept the high cost waste associated with unsound, single use ‘consumable bagging’. It says the reason is that reusable vacuum membranes are bringing not only significant cost reduction but allowing new technology breakthroughs previously unimaginable with the past consumable bagging  systems.

AHC claims that the new morphing runner system firmly places reusables head and shoulders above consumables dwarfing their ability to meet more demanding processing technical challenges whilst at the same time reducing moulders costly waste.

For example, it says that, in resin infusion, the old system of spiral wrap positioned under the bag film had major drawbacks in that it required use of consumable peel ply yet often printed through flow paths to the cosmetic part A surface due to resin shrinkage. Apart from this the wasteful cured flow channels/runners had to be removed with costly labour to clean up for each moulding cycle. By eliminating all these consumable issues associated with the old methods, reusable morphing runners clearly demonstrate how infusion can be made more efficient with lower costs and far less wasteful when adopting the new reusable approach.

AHC explains that it is now perfectly possible to infuse composites with moulds having large resin distribution channels which can be made to appear and disappear on demand. It says that morphing runners also provide the following advantages:

  • No resin wastage associated with resin runner channels.
  • No wasted cured resin clean-up.
  • No peel ply needed.
  • No flow mesh needed with optimised morphing runner networks.
  • No runner cosmetic print through.
  • No unwanted and damaging runner exothermic reactions.
  • No issues of different consolidation pressures in runner zones.

The new Morphing Runner is described as a seamless, built-in, resin flow path within a reusable vacuum membrane. The design can be made to disappear after infusion and before cure which eliminates the need to remove hardened and wasteful resin flow channels. The technology is also said to eliminate the need for peel ply under former conventional infusion spiral wrap flow paths.

Morphing Runner is built into the reusable membrane during manufacture and features a single or multiple control points allowing resin flow paths to be orchestrated by appearing and disappearing at will. Morphing resin runners can be networked together to provide multiple channels radiating from one central channel. It is available as a profile to embed within the reusable vacuum membrane during manufacture. It is easily positioned and sealed into the primary membrane layers then reinforced. This is fitted with built in pressure connection providing simple external control of runner channel ON and OFF condition.

AHC will be exhibiting this new technology in Hall 5A, Stand N11 at JEC World.

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