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Bayer Polymers Americas announced its new Baytec RS polyurethane material at Composites 2003, the Composites Fabricators Association’s industry trade show, a multi-layer polyurethane technology designed for reinforcing acrylic and ABS parts in applications ranging from spas to bathtubs to architectural parts such as garage doors.
The Baytec RS system uses open mold processing. It is sprayed onto the back of formed acrylic or ABS parts, providing reinforcement without the use of glass fiber. This eliminates the need for hand roll-out of the fiber and helps to cut cycle time. Curing is also faster. While an FRP material may take an hour to be ready to trim, parts reinforced with Baytec RS material are ready in 15 minutes.
“Costs are reduced in several ways with this material,” said Harry George, Specialty RIM Business Group Leader. “The single, open mold reduces tooling cost, labor costs for hand roll-out of fiber reinforcing materials are eliminated, and cycle time is cut, meaning greater productivity.
“The fact that there are no solvents is another key benefit,” George added.
The Baytec RS system can be applied at and cures at room temperature, with a gel time of about 2 minutes, and does not require post-curing. It is processed using three-stream low-pressure metering and mixing machinery. The material is applied as a “sandwich” – two solid layers with a cellular layer in between. The “sandwich” is about 3/4-inch thick.
After curing, the Baytec RS material offers hardness up to 80 Shore D. The flexural strength that would otherwise be provided by glass fiber reinforcing is replaced in the Baytec RS system by a proprietary blend of structural fillers blended into the polyol used in the formulation, said George. He added that the sandwich construction also provides slightly higher impact strength to the completed part.
George said that Baytec RS material can also be applied onto a gel coat in a mold in addition to serving as a backing for pre-formed acrylic or ABS parts.
“Lower-cost tooling – one polished surface or a thermoformed piece of plastic – that’s what you’re spraying onto – instead of having a two-sided mold and the press and clamping pressure and associated costs,” George said. “In some cases manufacturers can even use molds currently being used for FRP materials.”
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