Orlando, Florida -- Romeo Rim has used a Bayer long fibre reinforced polyurethane to produce a panel for a combine harvester which measures (prototype agricultural combine side panel measuring 2.82x185x0.12m (111”x73”x5”) deep.
Romeo RIM makes large PU combine panel
Key advantages of using polyurethane over conventional matrix materials are lower weight, good surface finish and lower moulding pressure.
Getty Matt Getty, director of engineering, Romeo RIM, said the part is to 40-50 % lighter than equivalent parts made using polyester sheet moulding compound and have similar mechanical properties.
Additionally, because the part has an intrinsic high-gloss surface out of the mould, there is no need for secondary painting operations, saving time and reducing labour costs.
The combine panel features molded-in ribs for structural support, says Romeo Rim. These are around times the part's nominal wall thickness and there is very little surface distortion on the outer surface, Romeo RIM said.
In addition to supplying the matrix formulation, BMS said it is supplying the high-gloss in-mould coating. In the production process, the mould is first coated and then a modified mixing head precisely feeds chopped strand glass fibre and polyurethane into the open mould. When the required volume of glass and polyurethane is in the mould, it closes and the part is compression moulded.
The part is made on a modified 400 tonne 12'x12' (3.6m x 3.6m) press. Romeo RIM believes to be the largest LFT press in the world.