Class A+ surfaces

Grafenberg, 08/29/16.

Fiber-reinforced thermoset plastics are becoming increasingly important. In order to minimize energy consumption, the aim is to reduce the weight without this affecting the mechanical resilience. Consequently, more and more composite components are being used in the automotive, aviation, and leisure industries. With its new epoxy infusion system RAKU-TOOL® EI-2500 / EH-2973, RAMPF Tooling Solutions is setting new standards in surface quality and processing properties.

Fiber content by volume of around 50-60 percent

Unlike metals, high-performance components produced from fiber composites make even small- and medium-series production profitable – especially when using resin transfer molding (RTM) and resin infusion (RI). RTM is ideal for small- and medium-series production, while RI is mainly used for small series, prototypes, and molds.

Both processes produce components with excellent mechanical properties – with a typical fiber content by volume of around 50-60 percent – and a minimal variation in thickness. Complex geometries are also possible.

“The main advantage of the RI process lies in the high component quality, especially in terms of air pockets,” says Marcus Vohrer, Head of Application Engineering at RAMPF Tooling Solutions. “The RTM process scores particularly highly on process reliability and reproducibility. Occupational hygiene isn’t an issue for either process, because there’s hardly any contact with chemicals for staff,” he adds.

The advantages for users of the new epoxy infusion system RAKU-TOOL® EI-2500 / EH-2973, which was developed specifically for RTM and RI, are as follows:

  • Top-quality surfaces: Class A+ surfaces possible.
  • Tg 138°C: Post-curing at just 120°C delivers optimum temperature resistance.
  • Excellent processing properties: Ideal pot life for reliable processing, impressive degassing and flow properties under vacuum, good wetting properties, and the possibility of long flow paths – for a reduced set-up time, lower processing costs, and fewer pinholes.
  • Curing at room temperature: Good stability after overnight gelation (no brittleness), easy demolding without pre-curing or part deformation, and the part can be processed/finished straight away.

The RAKU-TOOL® product range from RAMPF Tooling Solutions includes products for both RTM and RI production as well as a large selection of liquid, paste, Close Contour Casting, and board materials.

Applications include modeling, mold engineering, construction of jigs and fixtures, and various production processes for lightweight composites, including prepreg autoclave, vacuum bag, wet lamination, and compression molding processes.