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Owens Corning Issue Industry Developments for South America

  • Friday, 12th November 2004
  • Reading time: about 4 minutes

Owens Corning have issued details of their new SOGRE waste management system and detail plans to expand Production in South America.

Responding to customer needs to minimize losses from waste during processing and manage discarded post-production material, Owens Corning issued details at this years Feiplar Composites 2004 show of a comprehensive waste management program named SOGERE (Sistema Owens Corning de Gerencamento de Residuos), which they claim can help customers reduce waste by up to 50 percent, and direct costs by up to 12 percent.

The program is directed at producers of thermoset composite products, manages manufacturing leftovers by finding environmentally friendly alternative uses for them.

With the program, Owens Corning technicians aim to help customers optimize production processes and tooling specific to each manufacturer using roving to minimize waste during production prior to cure. Elements include operator training on spray-up procedures; adjustment to process parameters such as fibre-to-resin ratios; determination of the most effective gun-to-mould distances, pressures and spray angles in relation to the mould surface; optimization of fibre length, and simple tooling additions to prevent overspray or give hand workers an unmistakable target area for spray-up.

Owens Corning then identifies and suggests recycling and disposal of post-process scrap and waste, reducing customer housekeeping and regulatory headaches. After collection, materials are recycled into secondary, environmentally friendly uses. Potential applications are plywood and chipboard panels, bulk for automotive insulation mats or asphalt paving material, and, after milling, as reinforcing for thermoplastics and auto body repair paste. In rare cases when materials do not lend themselves to recycling, Owens Corning can consult on civil engineering design for environmentally sound landfills.

The new Owens Corning program is initially being rolled out to a small circle of customers in Brazil with plans to expand coverage to other countries in Latin America. The SOGERE program is a free value-added service in addition to the technical assistance package offered to customers who use 100 percent OC products. However, in view of the company’s commitment to the importance of environmental sustainability, it will be offering the program to others at a competitive cost.

Owens Corning has added an additional line at its Rio Claro facility to meet increasing market demand for the OC Moulding Mat reinforcement product, which they claim that when used in conjunction with closed cavity bag moulding (CCBM), is up to three times faster than processing by hand or spray lay-up.

In one comparative study, OC Moulding Mat required only 45 minutes to set up a CCBM mould for a part that required two to two-and-half hours with spray-up or hand lay-up. The CCBM process, the use of which has doubled in the region in just 12 months, can be rapidly tooled and, thanks to process simplicity, offered economically for short to medium project runs.

The increasing demand is due in part to Owens Corning’s exclusive license in South America with Arctek Inc. to market and sell CCBM technology to manufacturers of precision composite parts requiring closer tolerances and improved surface cosmetics.

CCBM is a production technique that shapes composite products by using a rigid mould to form one side of the product and a flexible silicon elastomer bag to form the other side, simplifying both production lay-up and tooling. Any gel coat or decoration is placed in the rigid mould, OC Moulding Mat is set in place and the silicone bag positioned. Vacuum fixturing then seals the periphery of the mould/bag sandwich and the resin is introduced. The vacuum draws the mat and resin into the rigid mould, speeding resin flow evenly throughout the part.

“We are committed to rapid growth here in the Americas both through close customer ties to regional business units, as well as through new applications and products like CCBM and Moulding Mat,” said Marcio Sandri, general manager, Brazil, Owens Corning Latin America. “OC Moulding Mat extends our offerings of efficient materials for producers who want to offer rapid response for products that benefit from small to mid-size production lots.”

OC Moulding Mat is available in a range of styles, from 600 g/m2 (18 oz/yd2) to 1450 g/m2 (44 oz/ft2). Nominal dry thickness ranges from 5.6 mm (0.22 in.) to 7.0 mm (0.28 in.) Rolls are available in 125 cm (50 in.), 156 cm (61 in.) and 250 cm (100 in.) widths. Lighter styles are supplied in 54.9 m (60 yd) rolls, heavier styles in 45.7 m (50 yd) rolls. OC Moulding Mat is designed for a range of composite manufacturing techniques in addition to CCBM, including resin transfer (RTM), vacuum-assist RTM, and press moulding.

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