Increasing use of lightweight materials in automotive is the driver behind development of a new series of epoxy intermediates by Dow Automotive Systems. When combined with carbon or glass fiber fabric, the Vorafuse resin system reportedly offers improved handling and rapid cycle times for compression molding of composite parts for structural applications.
|Vorafuse can be used in a variety of structural parts|
Epoxy-fiber composites offer competitive strength and stiffness at much lower density, enabling the production of components that can function well with traditional metal parts in a hybrid construction. Potential applications for Vorafuse are structural applications which require strength, stiffness and lightweight construction.
To be commercialized on a front roof header in 2016, Vorafuse is designed to work in processes like compression molding to achieve fast cycle times. It can be cured in two to five minutes for high volume manufacturing and can be used to enable automated manufacturing solutions. A variety of fabric configurations will accommodate Vorafuse, including unidirectional tape as well as woven, braided or non-crimp fabric at a range of areal weights.
Available in two grades, the Vorafuse P6300 resin system is designed for high volume manufacturing with no tack for robot handling of 2D and 3D pre-forms and compression molding. Vorafuse P6100 is formulated to accommodate diverse manufacturing scenarios from autoclave to out-of-autoclave processing on lower-cost tooling for medium to low volume applications.
“OEM emissions and fuel efficiency requirements are expected to continue to increase, as is the implementation of lightweight materials,” said Allan James, NAFTA Composites Market Manager, Dow Automotive Systems. “VORAFUSE™ epoxy intermediates support mass production of high-strength parts. Like other Dow Automotive materials, it can be customized to match different manufacturing and performance requirements for a variety of applications.”