Please also see alternative process Resin Transfer Moulding
Resin infusion is a process rapidly growing in popularity that offers a high quality repeatable part. The process allows close control of many of the variables associated with traditional open mould processes such as resin / fibre volumes and void content. Norco has in recent years transferred numerous components to the resin infusion process, and it is this background that sets us apart from many traditional composite manufacturers.
During the infusion process the dry reinforcements and cores are laid into the mould, the part is then vacuum bagged often using a membrane to distribute the resin across the part surface. Resin is then drawn across the surface and into the laminate stack. Once the part is filled the resin feed lines are closed and the vacuum held until the part is cured.
Resin Infusion Benefits
The process offers many benefits when compared to conventional hand lay-up techniques in way of improved consolidation, lower void content, reduced resin content and far better repeatability from part to part. As it is a closed mould process, it virtually eliminates potentially harmful volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and is also a very clean process. Hence the resultant mechanical properties of the cured part are markedly higher than would be the case with hand laminating, and part to part consistencies are greatly improved.
Why Change to Infusion?
Switching to infusion does not necessarily mean that the builder will have to make large changes to the laminate specification. However some fibres do not allow traditional resins to flow particularly well, hence infusion resins are modified to allow greater flow rates than would otherwise be possible. Norco can however help with specification alterations and provide guidance as to which fibres & resin systems are best suited. Most of our clients specify or change to the infusion process as a step towards improved structural properties and weight reductions over the hand laminated cost option. The only point to take into account is whether the current tooling has vacuum integrity, or can be modified by adding integrated seals at split lines etc to ensure it will do so – most standard composite tools can be adapted.
Norco would be pleased to provide you with a quotation if you are considering the manufacture of a component in this process, or are looking at converting from a hand laminated process – Our advice is free and without obligation; please feel free to get in touch!