White paper on liquid-moulding processes in composites manufacturing

Unknown makes unloved, which is all too often still applicable to composite materials. The close relation between part design, materials and manufacturing processes, can be daunting. This is why with its eighth white paper the SLC-Lab wants to pass on some essential information on liquid moulding processes for thermoset composites. You can download the white paper now!

The performance of composite materials depends not only on the constituents (fibres and matrix), but also on their interaction. Many composite parts are produced by some type of liquid moulding (LM) process. In general terms, liquid moulding involves placing a fibrous reinforcement into the cavity of a mould, after which it is impregnated with resin under the influence of a pressure difference between the mould cavity and the resin supply. The resin is then left to harden (cure) before the part can be removed from the mould.

Proper impregnation and cure are paramount to the performance of the resulting part. To achieve this, the manufacturer must understand the properties of the liquid moulding process. This white paper provides insight into the process and describes the most important parameters to achieve a good product and to select the right liquid moulding process from the broad range of processes currently available.

A distinction can be made between closed and open-mould processes. In open-mould processes, most of the material in the mould is exposed to the environment, whereas in closed mould processes the material is sealed off. Vacuum infusion and RTM are examples of closed mould processes.

The white paper focusses on closed-mould processes as they offer better and more consistent material properties and provide a cleaner/less hazardous working environment.

The white paper can be downloaded now.

The use of composites stands or falls by the choice of materials and manufacturing processes. Product value, product costs, production costs, development costs and risks can be difficult to estimate. The wide range of materials and processes available makes selection even more difficult. This is why the Sirris composite experts (SLC-Lab) and the sustainability experts have come up with a series of white papers that go much deeper into the properties and possibilities offered by composites.