Huntsman Advanced Materials is now improving processes, products and performance levels to deliver a one-stop resource for more efficient composite parts production.
As winner of an innovation award at JEC World 2016 and as partner in a second innovation award, the company is intent on demonstrating not only its reach across key markets and technologies such as Prepreg, Fast Resin Transfer Moulding, compression moulding, Filament Winding and Pultrusion, but also its advances into the latest technologies such as Dynamic Fluid Compression Moulding (DFCM).
It claims that parts production with autoclave quality in less than a minute is possible by combining a new 30-second-cure epoxy with the novel DFCM compression moulding technique: one-minute cycle times for structural components can be achieved – all without further post-curing.
In addition to providing the required process latency, the new resin system Araldite LY3031 – Aradur 3032 solution is said to exhibit very fast demoulding stiffness development, enabling drastic reduction in cure time. Its high elongation at break make it an ideal solution for impact resistant composite part production.
The DFCM process completes the offer, targeting highest quality parts along with reduced void content of laminates. With typical porosity content of less than 1%, it is comparable to HP-RTM but also to autoclave prepregs as it delivers high fibre content, typically up to 65% by volume.
The overall proposition from Huntsman Advanced Materials has important cost benefit implications in high-volume applications such as those found in the automotive market, where thermoset technology for high performance structural parts is now readily available.
With the release of a new global offer for the automotive industry, Huntsman meets market demands for faster processing and reduced composite production cycles.
Summary of benefits from the Araldite LY3031/AD3032 resin + DFCM process according to Huntsman:
One minute part to part cycle time.
Fibre volume content up to 65% and Void-free parts.
Simple processing of heavy-tow industrial fabrics.
Reduced equipment investment (low pressure process).
Complex (2.5+D) parts.
Huntsman claim that the techniques of process simulation reduce risk to design engineers and manufacturers by offering an opportunity to explore, analyse, cost and predict outcomes before committing to a particular course of action.
Process simulation enables the innovator to challenge and check the composite process and ensure that technical advances can be exploited cost effectively. In the search for optimised production cycles, for example, the technique helps to evaluate critical parameters and optimise the cost/benefit ratio.
Huntsman Advanced Materials has released an App which offers insight on the content, techniques and value of simulation, illustrated by a number of case studies. Users of the App get access to all the basics of the approach through to specific examples of how a variation in process parameters might affect outcomes, for example in identifying the best injection temperature to minimise filling time.
The App features a question and answer ‘quiz’ feature which provides a valuable tutorial on simulation, delivered via an effective and readily available medium.
At the assembling level too, it says there are continuous improvements programme which contribute to the one-stop resource and respond to the demands of key market sectors for higher standards. In the rail industry, for example, fire safety standards continue to harmonise across international borders, bringing with them a more demanding performance level for all.
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