What are the processes available to Manufacture your Advanced Composites and Carbon Fiber Parts??
The tooling processes below have been perfected through years of R&D and hands on experience. This ensures that we will pick the right method to create your Composites Manufacturing project. For some examples of Carbon Fiber Parts Manufacturing; we have completed; please take a look at our portfolio.
Open molding is described as the process of saturating a reinforcement fiber with a thermoset resin. There are two different ways to achieve this, hand lay-up and spray-up (chopping). These methods are very similar throughout the wide variety of composite products you can use them to make; these include but are not limited to: boats, tanks, transportation components, architectural products, and others with size ranging from small to very large.
The hand wet lay-up method is the simplest method for composite molding. It enables changes to a design with minimal investments and simple processing. Although it has a low production volume per mold, it is lower in cost and can be used for a wide range of part sizes.
Spray-up: Using spray-up or chopping is sometimes faster when producing more complex shapes because of its ability to conform. It is also a low cost method with the advantage of more control over thickness and consistency within the part.
Vacuum Bag Molding: This method can be used for either a hand lay-up process or pre-impregnated lay-up. When using vacuum bagging it causes the pressure inside the bag to reduce and the external pressure to increase, this will remove any excess air and resin. This method helps produce laminates with even consolidation, complete fiber wet-out, and improved core bonding. Another use for this method is if you are looking to create more advanced composites, such as aircraft or military products, then the prepreg-vacuum bag-autoclave method is the best option.
Vacuum Infusion Processing: Vacuum infusion or Vacuum resin transfer molding is similar to the vacuum bagging process, only the resin is infused after the pressure inside the bagged mold is lower than the atmospheric pressure. This allows no room for excess resin or air and is perfect for larger molds with a low-volume molding process. Vacuum resin infusion also generates products high in strength and light in weight with low-cost tooling.
Resin Transfer Molding (RTM): RTM is an intermediate volume molding process. Even though it is the same concept as vacuum infusion, the process differs slightly in that because the resin is injected, the pressure in the mold is higher than the atmospheric pressure. This process allows you to choose from a wide variety of tooling and has the capability of producing in rapid time. The reason for using this method is to manufacture parts with two finished surfaces.
Pultrusion Process: Pultrusion is a process where continuous strands of fiberglass or carbon fiber are impregnated in resin, then pulled through a steel die which strengthens the saturated reinforcement. This is good for manufacturing products such as; beams, pipe, tubing, fishing rods, golf clubs, and many other products with high structural properties.
3D Printing: LeapTech has a variety of materials we can use to prototype or manufacturer parts. We have used 3d printing for prototype testing, inserts, forms, bladders and more. We can even print carbon fiber.
Injection molding is also available for manufacturing projects.