High-Performance Composites

NOV 2014

High-Performance Composites is read by qualified composites industry professionals in the fields of continuous carbon fiber and other high-performance composites as well as the associated end-markets of aerospace, military, and automotive.

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5 8 | H I G H - P E R F O R M A N C E C O M P O S I T E S NEW PRODUCTS NEW PRODUCTS SPE ACCE 2014 PRODUCT SHOWCASE Acrylic thermoplastic resin for liquid molding Arkema (King of Prussia, Pa.) highlighted its existing Elium product, report- edly the frst liquid thermoplastic (acrylic) resin that provides properties similar to thermoset epoxy resins. The low-viscosity, styrene-free liquid formulation, activated with the company's Luperox peroxide, can be pro- cessed as a thermo- set in resin transfer molding (RTM) pro- cesses, resin infusion and fex molding, and provides a thermo- plastic part that is easily thermoformed (see photo), welded or adhesively bonded, and is readily recyclable. The com- pany adds that Elium can reduce processing cost compared to traditional ther- moplastic technologies, because no added heat is necessary and conventional thermoset processes can be used. www.arkema.com/en/ Low-density glass/polyester SMC AOC LLC (Collierville, Tenn.) introduced its new low-density (1.2) sheet mold- ing compound (SMC), which reportedly has properties equivalent to standard SMC but at 37 percent lower mass. Moreover, the material can be processed with a Class A surface. AOC's Jeff Klipstein, in a conference presentation, noted that achieving the same properties at lower density and Class A looks in a single SMC formulation is diffcult because, ordinarily, adding more glass fber reinforcement enhances mechanical properties but tends to degrade the molded surface quality. The company's new, low-density formulation of poly- ester and glass fber was described as competitive with aluminum in terms of cost and weight savings. Work is ongoing to further reduce density while maintaining properties and surface quality. www.aocresins.com Ultralow-density SMCs Core Molding Technologies (Columbus, Ohio) showed two new ultralow- density sheet molding compound (SMC) formulations: The frst, its trade- marked Mirilite SMC, has a low nominal density (specifc gravity of 1.2), and demonstrates automotive Class A surface performance, yet weighs 37 percent At the 2014 Society of Plastics Engineers' Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibi- tion (Novi, Mich., Sept. 9 -11), the crowded exhibits area offered a wide array of new tech- nologies designed to appeal to high-production-rate automotive processing. The following is a mere sampling of what was on hand (see our "SPE ACCE 2014 Report" on p. 26). less than traditional Class A SMC material systems. Mirilite is intended for exte- rior applications in automobiles and heavy trucks, including hoods, door panels and trunk deck lids. The second product, Econolite, is a less expensive but nev- ertheless ultralow-density SMC (specifc gravity of 1.18) for utility applications that do not require premium surface appearance. Evolved from the company's highly successful FeatherliteXL and Airilite SMC systems, the economical for- mulation is intended for reinforcement structures and other components that do not require a Class A painted surface fnish. www.coremt.com Polyurethane prepregs Evonik Corp. (Parsippany, N.J.) discussed its latest product, Vestanat PP, a polyurethane (PU) matrix system based on aliphatic diisocyanates for PU pre- pregs. The latent resin system is mixed and combined with the fabric reinforce- ment to form the prepreg, but doesn't react until processing temperature is reached. At that point, the isocyanates become reac- tive. Notably, the product is said to be stable at room temperature and requires no refrigeration. Further, its cure profle is reportedly tailorable to any process. Sub-two-minute cycle times are possible in compression molding processes, says the com- pany. http://crosslinkers.evonik.com/product/crosslinkers/en/products- services/vestanat/pages/VESTANAT-PP.aspx Ultralightweight Class A SMC Continental Structural Plastics (CSP, Auburn Hills, Mich.) offcially announced its Tough Class A (TCA) Ultra Lite, a 1.2 specifc gravity SMC formulation. This new SMC material is reportedly already approved by major automotive OEMs and will be used on a production vehicle, beginning in January 2015. CSP says Ultra Lite offers a 21 percent weight savings over the company's mid-density TCA Lite product, and a 35 percent savings over standard SMCs, thanks to treated glass bubbles (microspheres) that replace calcium carbonate and re- portedly enhance resin/paint adhesion. The new lightweight formulation is said to deliver the same mechanical properties as standard SMC, with the same Class A surface qualities. www.cspplastics.com

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