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Epoxy liquid resin systems speed composite cycle times

Huntsman Advanced Materials (Duxford) : 14 August, 2012  (New Product)
Composites are swiftly becoming the materials of choice in many different industries for both structural and non-structural applications. At COMPOSITES EUROPE 2012, Huntsman will look at growing demands for faster processing and reduced production cycles, focusing on the role high-performance chemistries are playing in enabling more efficient manufacturing techniques and the increased penetration of composites.
Epoxy liquid resin systems speed composite cycle times

While aerospace-derived prepreg materials for autoclave cure were regularly used within the racing and high value sectors of the industry, for composites to be cost-effective for the mass production of parts, both the manufacturing processes and resin systems needed to be adapted.

To meet faster processing and shorter production cycle requirements, Huntsman has developed epoxy liquid resin systems for out-of-autoclave processes, such as ‘high pressure’ resin transfer moulding (HP-RTM), which enable production cycles as short as five minutes.  Other fast curing epoxy systems, such as expandable epoxy systems (EES), are also available for wet compression moulding.  Involving moderate costs, EES allows the easy and exact moulding of complicated shapes and extremely short cycle times between 45-60 seconds at 145-160C.

Offering an extensive range of proven formulated resins for the latest ‘high pressure RTM’ and fast compression moulding systems, Huntsman is able to support the growth of composites in the automotive industry even more effectively than before.

Fast infusion processing for wind blades

The increasing length of wind turbine blades has prompted the more widespread use of advanced composites, which has in turn led to demands for new materials and manufacturing methods.

 Huntsman’s Germanischer Lloyd (GL) approved epoxy resin systems offer enhanced mechanical and processing properties that improve product quality, lower (consistent) blade weight, deliver high strength and fatigue properties and enhance impact resistance.  The low viscosities of these systems facilitate fast infusion processing and reduced production cycle times.

Araldite LY 1568/Aradur 3489 is an example of the latest epoxy resin infusion system which provides more control in the manufacturing process with a low mix viscosity of 200-300mPas at 25C, low exothermic reaction and long pot life of 850-950 minutes.

Tooling systems for composite moulds

Huntsman offers tooling materials for the construction of high quality, lightweight, heatable composite moulds, which can be used for wet lay-up, resin infusion and high temperature prepreg applications.

As well as infusion systems, Huntsman has recently launched a new hot curing epoxy system (RenLam® LY 120 / Ren HY 99) which has primarily been developed for the large-scale tooling and composite production of wind rotor blades and large marine components. Combining a low viscosity with a long pot life and high temperature resistance (150°C), due to its excellent handling behaviour this system is suitable for various production processes.

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