By John Osborne, UT staff
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-A polyurethane RIM (reaction injection moulding) system from Bayer MaterialScience has been used to make a boat dashboard because the material is easy to work with and the finished dashboard can be more quickly assembled. The entire installation process takes about seven minutes, compared to 45 minutes for the old-style dashboards, according to a press release on the development from BMS.
Mike Peters, ceo of Indiana Marine said the company wanted to design a high quality dashboard that would be cost effective for mid range boat manufacturers." We were looking for a material that could flow easily into a mould and had the dimensional stability and structural integrity to stand on its own," explained the firm's design consultant, Anthony Kalil.
"Ideally", he added, "we also wanted a material that could be sandwiched with another material to create a good quality textured surface. Bayer's RIM process made this possible."
Indiana Marine worked with Moulder EPW Inc. to create the new Delta Dash. The team brought in experts from Bayer MaterialScience because they knew Bayer had the raw materials to create a composite dashboard and the technical expertise needed to realise it.
Indiana Marine said that Bayer's Baydur 667 polyurethane RIM system was ideal because it is light, rigid, and able to encapsulate and support all the instruments, switches and gages that must be contained in the dashboard. Also, it is possible to mould varying thick and thin cross-sections, creating bosses and ribbing on the backside for easy assembly.
EPW manufactures the Delta Dash using a foam-in-place, vinyl-clad moulding process. First it thermoforms a vinyl cover stock and places it in the cavity of the RIM mould. Bayer's Baydur 667 polyurethane is then shot on the back side of the vinyl.
Excess vinyl is then trimmed from the shape. A variety of different vinyl colours can be used, matching the interior of the boat. The 29-inch-long, 25-inch-wide, and 9-inch-deep (74x63x23cm) part is then shipped to Indiana Marine, who further customises the dashboard by thermoforming the instrument and switch clusters in a variety of configurations. "