Supporting UK Composites

Huntsman Advanced Materials Looks to offer One-Stop Resource in Composite Part Production

Huntsman Advanced Materials says it 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 states it is intent on demonstrating not only its reach across key markets and technologies such as Prepreg, Fast Resin Transfer Molding, compression Molding, Filament Winding and Pultrusion, but also its advances into the latest technologies such as Dynamic Fluid Compression Molding (DFCM).
Huntsman says 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 molding 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 exhibits very fast demolding 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 it says 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:

  • 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)
  • Reduced waste
  • Complex (2.5+D) parts

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, 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.
In its range of adhesives for composite bonding Araldite offers a number of epoxy based solutions which combine high strength, with creep, chemical and fatigue resistance and also flame retardant capabilities.  
ARALDITE 2033 is a two component gap-filling epoxy adhesive with flame retardant properties that has surpassed the HL3 hazard level of fire safety testing under the rigorous unified pan-European EN 45545-2 testing regime.
Classified in the combined R22 Interior and R23 Exterior category, it meets all requirements to achieve the HL3 level, with test parameters that include for instance, evaluation of spread of flame, ignitability, or smoke and toxic gas emissions.

HL3 is the highest classification of requirements relating to fire and fume hazards dealing with the capacity of materials to self-extinguish and also low fume toxicity and opacity.
The latter characteristic has additional importance in relation to train operations in tunnels, underground systems and on extended enclosed journeys such as the Eurostar Channel Tunnel service.
ARALDITE 2033 offers users in the rail industry a combination of performance and safety compliance to the highest level, with the HL3 designation providing a guarantee of effectiveness in the event of fire.



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