To support the growing demand of the automotive industry of lightweight materials that can be processed on commercially reasonable scope, Dow Automotive Systems has developed a new solution for composites: VORAFUSE.
According to Dow, VORAFUSE is for prepreg applications and combines epoxy resin with carbon fibres from DowAksa for improved handling and rapid cycle times for compression moulding of composite parts for structural applications.
VORAFUSE is designed to work in processes like compression moulding to achieve fast cycle times. Dow claims that it can be cured in two to five minutes for high volume manufacturing and can be used to enable automated manufacturing solutions. It explains that epoxy-fibre composites offer competitive strength and stiffness at much lower density, enabling the production of components that can function well with traditional metal parts in a hybrid construction. Potential applications for VORAFUSE are structural applications which require strength, stiffness and lightweight construction such as door inners, hood inners, A, B, C pillars, roof rails.
“OEM emissions and fuel efficiency requirements are expected to continue to increase, as is the implementation of lightweight materials,” said Allan James, NAFTA Composites Market Manager, Dow Automotive Systems. “VORAFUSE epoxy derivates support mass production of high-strength parts. Like other Dow Automotive materials, it can be customised to match different manufacturing and performance requirements for a variety of applications.”
VORAFUSE is available in two grades and with a variety of fabric configurations. VORAFUSE P6300 grade is designed for high volume manufacturing with no tack for robot handling of 2D and 3D pre-forms and compression moulding. VORAFUSE P6100 grade is formulated to accommodate diverse manufacturing scenarios from autoclave to out-of-autoclave processing on lower-cost tooling for medium to low volume applications. Fabric configurations for both grades comprise unidirectional tape as well as woven, braided or non-crimp fabric at a range of areal weights.
Image provided by Dow Automotive
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