Milan, Italy -- Cannon launched a high-productivity RTM (resin transfer moulding) process for fast-demoulding, automated production of epoxy composites for automotive and other mass-production markets. at the JEC 2010 event in Paris in mid-April.
"ESTRIM" (epoxy structural reaction injection moulding) can produce mouldings which are lightweight, thin-walled composites with complex shapes and large dimensions, using epoxy resins and carbon or other continuous fibres, said Cannon.
The ESTRIM process offers short production times: a part-to-part cycle of 2-3 minutes - a typical request from the automotive industry - can now be achieved, the machinery expert said.
One feature of ESTRIM is high-pressure metering, mixing and injection of liquid epoxy components in a closed mould: this decreases demoulding times from 20-30 minutes to 2-3 minutes, maintaining optimum mechanical properties and surface aspect characteristics.
Other aspects include self-cleaning mixing heads; high-pressure injection, in combination with closed-loop controlled metering systems; and dedicated preforming machines for repetitive and fast production of inserts. Specially formulated resins, hardeners and preforming binders, give dedicated and accurate technical profiles, to meet the demands of the new process and equipment.
Also, Cannon stresses, the ESTRIM process means production lines can be automated, making use of over 40 years of industrialisation in other plastics processing technologies. Production, raw material and scrap disposal costs are also significantly reduced.
(Readers of Urethanes Technology International who are interested in both epoxy and polyurethane moulding may be interested in our forthcoming look at use of polyurethanes in the composites business, including a report from the JEC 2010 event in Paris, 13-15 April. This will be included in the June/July edition of the magazine, due out towards the end of June.)