Huntsman Advanced Materials will be using JEC World 2016 to showcase its full portfolio of technologies and market sectors in which it operates with Araldite branded resin systems, components and adhesives, designed for the production of composites and semi-finished parts.
Using the theme ‘solutions for all processes’, the company will demonstrate its reach across key markets, including Aerospace, Automotive, Rail and Oil & Gas and technologies such as Prepreg, Fast Resin Transfer Moulding (Fast RTM), Compression Moulding, Filament Winding and Pultrusion.
The nature of Huntsman’s involvement in parts, processes and industries will be illustrated by the use of touch screen presentations and there will be specific examples of the latest developments within the business, such as Dynamic Fluid Compression Moulding (DFCM).
This most recent advance in epoxy technology from Huntsman Advanced Materials involves a new epoxy resin system, which produces structural parts with autoclave quality in less than a minute. The process combines a new 30-second cure epoxy with a novel compression moulding technique to make one-minute cycle times a reality for structural components without any further post-curing. The system 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 achievable.
In addition, the process offers a greater measure of design freedom, including on complex deep-draw parts, with very little wastage when compared to more traditional compression moulding methods.
The current state-of-the-art commercial epoxy solution for high-volume manufacture of composite parts is the Araldite system used to manufacture the BMW i-Series of cars. This system has a cure time of two minutes at 130°C, giving a total cycle time for compression moulding process of around two minutes 30 seconds. Huntsmand says that the new rapid-cure Araldite epoxy system is not only faster but also displays a higher Tg enabling robust processing up to 150°C. These factors combine to give a cure time of only 30 seconds at 140°C, meaning that a press cycle time of only one minute is possible without any further post-curing of the part. Following curing, the epoxy system displays a tensile elongation in excess of 5% with a Tg of 120°C.
The simplicity of the new moulding process removes the need for high-pressure injection and in many cases even the need for a bonded fibre preform, removing a complex and costly step in production. With the new DFCM process, equipment investment costs are reduced in comparison to High Pressure RTM (HP-RTM) or Compression-RTM, since lower mould pressures mean a lighter press is required, plus the need for a high-pressure injection machine is eliminated.
One of the main advantages of the novel process is that it reduces void content of laminates in comparison to conventional Wet-Compression Moulding (WCM) process. It allows typical porosity content of less than 1%, making it comparable to HP-RTM or autoclave prepregs.
Indeed, fibre wet-out is so effective that fibre volume contents of 66% can be easily achieved with no special processing conditions. Heavy-tow industrial fabrics (for instance, made with Zoltek 50k Panex 35 fibres) were similarly easy to impregnate, with virtually void-free parts, even when parts were made with a 960gsm plain weave fabric.
For more information about Huntsman and its processes and products, visit its team on Stand L31, in Hall 6 or via the website below.