Meridian's DePalma says the "string binder" technology eliminates problems encountered previously in SRIM preforming with aqueous emulsion binders that were messy to handle and gave less uniform results.
The total process of preforming and molding the truck box produces a finished part every 3 min.
The mold carrier system is a low-pressure press with a sliding table and preforming
Large SRIM and RTM clamps and preforming equipment.
CompForm automated preforming process for RTM and SRIM applies binder resin to precut mats, reacts binder without heating the reinforcement or mold, molds the preform, and attaches structural components such as ribs or cores.
Average cycle time range for processing RTM body panels at Aero Detroit (not including the preforming
cycle) is 14-17 min, which includes the time to open the clamp, manually insert the preform, close the clamp, inject resin, hold and cure, open the clamp, manually remove the part, loosen and remove flash with compressed-air guns, and place the part in a cooling fixture.
continues working on automated preforming for front-end vehicle rails produced by the resin transfer molding (RTM) process.
While he declines to provide specifics on the new automated preforming process, Kowalske says it produces a directed-fiber glass charge comparable to manually directed, vacuum layup/chopped-glass spray.
ACC's developmental preforming system may be an extension of composite production technology introduced by GM in 1989.
A new automated net-shape fiber preforming system for RTM and SRIM can produce preforms with selectively varied fiber orientation and wall thickness in about a minute.
At that time, Lawton and Freeman had just applied for patents for this sophisticated, robotic preforming operation.