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Huntsman Advanced Materials Showcases its ‘solutions for all processes in composites’ at JEC World 2016

Published on 2016-01-08. Author : SpecialChem

Huntsman Advanced Materials will be using JEC World 2016 to underline its credentials across the full portfolio of technologies and market sectors in which it operates with ARALDITE® branded resin systems, components and adhesives, designed for the production of composites and semi-finished parts.

Fig. 1: Huntsman

Using the theme ‘solutions for all processes’, the company will demonstrate its reach across key markets, including Aerospace, Automotive, Rail and Oil & Gas and technologies such as Prepreg, Fast Resin Transfer Molding (Fast RTM), Compression Molding, Filament Winding and Pultrusion.

The nature of Huntsman’s involvement in parts, processes and industries will be illustrated by the use of touch screen presentations and there will be specific examples of the latest developments within the business, such as Dynamic Fluid Compression Molding (DFCM).

This most recent advance in epoxy technology from Huntsman Advanced Materials involves a new epoxy resin system, which produces structural parts with autoclave quality in less than a minute. The process combines a new 30-second cure epoxy with a novel compression molding technique to make one-minute cycle times a reality for structural components without any further post-curing. The system has important cost benefit implications in high-volume applications such as those found in the automotive market, where thermoset technology for high performance structural parts is now readily achievable.

In addition, the process offers a greater measure of design freedom, including on complex deep-draw parts, with very little wastage when compared to more traditional compression molding methods.

The current state-of-the-art commercial epoxy solution for high-volume manufacture of composite parts is the ARALDITE® system used to manufacture the BMW i-Series of cars. This system has a cure time of two minutes at 130°C, giving a total cycle time for compression molding process of around two minutes 30 seconds. The new rapid-cure ARALDITE® epoxy system is not only faster but also displays a higher Tg enabling robust processing up to 150°C. These factors combine to give a cure time of only 30 seconds at 140°C, meaning that a press cycle time of only one minute is possible without any further post-curing of the part. Following curing, the epoxy system displays a tensile elongation in excess of 5% with a Tg of 120°C.

The simplicity of the new molding process removes the need for high-pressure injection and in many cases even the need for a bonded fiber preform, removing a complex and costly step in production. With the new DFCM process, equipment investment costs are reduced in comparison to High Pressure RTM (HP-RTM) or Compression-RTM, since lower mold pressures mean a lighter press is required, plus the need for a high-pressure injection machine is eliminated.

One of the main advantages of the novel process is that it reduces void content of laminates in comparison to conventional Wet-Compression Molding (WCM) process. It allows typical porosity content of less than 1%, making it comparable to HP-RTM or autoclave prepregs.

Indeed, fiber wet-out is so effective that fiber volume contents of 66% can be easily achieved with no special processing conditions. Heavy-tow industrial fabrics (for instance, made with Zoltek 50k PANEX® 35 fibers) were similarly easy to impregnate, with virtually void-free parts, even when parts were made with a 960gsm plain weave fabric.

Huntsman’s presence at JEC has become synonymous with its record of product innovation and the introduction of DFCM continues this relationship with the show.

About Huntsman

Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals with 2014 revenues of approximately $13 billion including the acquisition of Rockwood’s performance additives and TiO2 businesses. Its chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets.

Source: Huntsman

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