A fast-cycle molding system for composite parts made using carbon fiber reinforced epoxy resin has been recognized as an innovative process by the Innovative and Technological Services Group of Confindustria, an organisation representing more than 148,000 Italian manufacturing and services companies. The system was developed by R&D Centre of Afros (Caronno Pertusella), part of the Cannon Group (Peschiera Borromeo, Italy).
The solution reduces the demolding time of a finished composite part from the 20-30 minutes of a standard RTM process to 3 minutes using Cannon's ESTRIM (Epoxy STructural Reaction Injection Moulding) technology.
The Cannon project has been positively evaluated for its innovative content and for the possibility of an immediate industrial application. The significant reduction of cycle time obtained allows for a much higher productivity per manufacturing cell, optimizing all the used resources and drastically shortening the ROI (return On investment) in machinery.
The quality of the molded pieces is reportedly equal to that obtained with the traditional process, while the high-pressure technology used to meter and inject the liquid reactive formulation allows for the complete elimination of cleaning solvents from the production cycle. This provides significant benefits in terms of worker's health, working place atmosphere and process economies according to Cannon.