A new composite moulding technique has been developed, which Alan Harper Composites says is now challenging traditional closed mould RTM/LRTM and Infusion processes.
The remarkable growth in application of VPI the Vacuum Press Infusion process is probably due mainly to its ability to bring reduced cost, not only in materials savings but by offering the moulding community the lowest entry cost to a closed mould production technique.
Andre Antunes, Director of New Markets at Alan Harper Composites, said; “Since I started promoting VPI at the Brazilian Fieplar show last November, business has exploded. South American countries like Brazil and Argentina are in economic crisis so naturally they found cost savings essential to survive. The claims of massive resin savings and waste and labour reductions obtained from VPI provided their answer by reducing at least 35% of direct costs.”
For example, Valle Equipamientos Especiales who is the biggest ambulance producer in Argentina is now exporting to new markets such as Bolivia, Columbia and Peru because VPI gave it a more competitive edge.
Again Marcopolo, the giant of the bus industry has embraced VPI due to advantages of flexibility and speed to put its silicone reusable membranes into production, which can all be completed to production in one day.
Antunes, who previously worked for several years with LRTM, RTM and hand-lay commented; “I cannot get tired of seeing the faces of amazed clients when they see the entire resin volume poured under the membrane for the first time, and witness how rapidly yet simply it automatically infuses the entire glass pack with so little or practically no wastage.”
He adds; “VPI is paradigm in moulding techniques and I predict it will establish itself to be the most popular closed moulding technique as it is obviously so economically attractive and easily adopted by the fibre-reinforced polymer industry worldwide.