IBEX 365 News
Resin Infuse Faster With Products That Stick
News Date: July 2, 2021
Materials that can be easily placed and stay put help to simplify the infusion molding process, reducing time and improve part quality.
Long established in the manufacture of parts and tooling, many composite fabricators have recognized the advantages of the resin infusion process. It’s now successfully employed in a broad range of industries like Marine, Wind Energy, Automotive and Aerospace. Simply explained, the process involves placement of dry fabrics in the mold which are then vacuum bagged. The applied vacuum creates a pressure differential which is used to draw resin from the bucket into the dry fabric lay-up achieving full fabric wet-out.
Lay-up of dry fabrics and vacuum bag materials into the mold was previously a time-consuming process, a new crop of product from Airtech Advanced Materials Group meets this challenge head on. These include easier to use, lower cost temporary adhesives and self-adhesive vacuum bagging materials that enable lay-ups to be completed faster and more accurately. Saving time, money and improving part quality.
Typically the process starts with positioning of dry fabrics and core materials into the mold or master. With a need for tack adhesion to hold materials on vertical surfaces. Tac-Strip HT is the latest High tack version of the popular adhesive fiberglass mesh for holding dry fabrics in place. Tac-Strip can be easily applied like a double backed tape in strategic locations to hold layers of fabric. The open weave style does not block resin flow so infusions are not hindered. The new high tack version provides better hold for heavier fabrics.
Once the dray fabrics and core materials have been placed in the mold the process of adding the resin flow channels and vacuum bag materials can start. Where a texture is needed on the molded laminate surface, peel ply fabrics can be used. These dry woven fabrics are molded on the laminate and after cure removed to leave a textured surface, ideal for painting of bonding. Stik-Ply N80P is a self-adhesive porous peel ply sticks in place quickly and does not hinder resin flow during infusion. A very light adhesive dot pattern provides enough stick for a secure placement without affecting the molding process. Stik-Ply N80P can be used on the mold face or the bag side of the part to provide texture where required.
Resin flow mesh aids resin flow over the surface of the part quickly, so resin can then flow down into the laminate to achieve mold fill before the resin gels and cures out. Extruded and Knitted mesh’s will not self-release. A perforated release film is the most economical means of providing easy removal for the resin flow mesh and vacuum bagging materials. Airtech introduction of Combo-Tech technology means combination materials can be manufactured that can be laid in the tool as one, eliminating need for in mold gluing or taping. Flowlease 160-37P16 is the fasted resin flow combination product on the market. The knitted resin flow mesh combined with a easy removal low cost perforated release film can be rolled out, cut and placed all as one. Reducing tool lay-up time and use of spray glue. The combination product can even be pre-cut to shape off-line and brought to the tool for even quicker lay-up. Airtech has a standard range of Flowlease products including resin flow mesh and release like Flowlease 160-37P16, Flowlease 75-37P16 and even 3 layer combination such as Flowpeel that include a resin flow mesh, release film and peel ply.
Airtac 2 MEGA
Spray adhesive have always been a popular option for placing materials in the mold. Airtac 2 MEGA, is a fine mist spray adhesive, with very high tack, designed for temporary bonding. Airtac 2 Mega can be used to hold dry materials on contours and vertical surfaces. This product is ideally suited to resin infusion applications for peel plies, release films, and infusion mesh in place until the vacuum bag is secured. This latest version has more adhesive and less solvent in the can, so users get more coverage and more tack for sticking down materials.
As a specialist in vacuum bagging and composite tooling Airtech has continued to make progress in the development of new materials for all aspects of the process, including – Fabric and Core positioning adhesives, Peel Ply fabrics, Release Films, Resin Flow Media, Vacuum Bag Films, Sealant Tapes, Resin Flow Channels. Significantly Airtech has also developed Custom Engineering capabilities to provide Pre-shaped materials, Combination materials and Kitted materials to provide substantial reductions in labor for the composite fabricator.