Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. (Columbus, OH) is debuting a new, more efficient epoxy system for mass producing lightweight carbon-fiber structural components at the JEC Europe 2012 Composites Show, March 27-29 in Paris.
The new system, a combination of Epikote Resin 05475 and Epikure Curing Agent 05443, enables direct infusion of carbon fiber material using industrial-scale high- or low-pressure resin transfer molding (RTM) process equipment, with curing in less than five minutes.
"Carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy composites can deliver weight savings of up to 60 percent compared to conventional steel designs," says Nipesh Shah, VP, global marketing and business development of the company's Epoxy, Phenolic and Coatings Division. "Our new system makes switching to epoxy composites for the chassis, semi-structural parts and exterior body more attractive because it makes production faster and more predictable." The Epikote Resin 05475/Epikure Curing Agent 05443 system features low viscosity, a relatively long injection window, excellent wetting and adhesion to carbon fibers, and superior thermal and mechanical performance.
New app center
Momentive has also announced the start-up of its Transportation Research and Application Center (TRAC) in Duisburg, Germany. TRAC researchers will develop and test custom lightweight structural composite solutions for clients in the automotive, aerospace and mass transportation markets. The laboratory will complement existing research and development (R&D) facilities worldwide where Momentive business units have been working with these industries for many years, creating new resins, products and solutions, and providing technical support.
Cannon epoxy structural RIM machine will be applied to transportation applications at TRAC.
TRAC is sited at Momentive's Duisburg plant, already an important epoxy production and R&D facility which develops new formulations for a range of end uses. The availability of fast-reacting formulations now allows slow resin transfer molding (RTM) processes to be replaced with fast-molding methods. Driving down cycle times for composite components can help minimize cycle times for automotive applications. The new lab will house a state-of-the art dosing/injection unit and press from Cannon (Milan, Italy), specifically engineered for the rapid production of small-batch epoxy composite test components conforming to a wide array of process and customer conditions.
"Cannon's Epoxy Structural Reaction Injection Molding (ESTRIM) high-productivity resin injection equipment allows us to apply our materials under realistic customer processing conditions. We expect combined product and application development like this to drive future innovation and solutions," say Roman Hillermeier, technology leader for Transportation, and Francis Defoor, marketing leader for Transportation. "Our team at Momentive will work on a whole range of composite production technologies, such as high-pressure RTM, low-pressure RTM and compression molding processes. We believe that both material and production technology, hand in hand, will help us drive the upsurge of composites in the automotive industry."
Joseph Bevilaqua, president, Epoxy, Phenolic and Coatings Division of Momentive, adds, "TRAC will extend our capabilities and help us build partnerships with co-suppliers and customers, as this is key to the successful development of structural composite solutions for mass production in the automotive industry. Plus, in addition to advanced application development activities, the center will still support Momentive Specialty Chemicals' existing R&D and growth initiatives supporting the automotive, aerospace and mass transportation segments."-[email protected]