Resins manufacturer Hexion (Columbus, OH, US), which has spent the past few years going by the name Momentive, is back to being called Hexion. But Hexion’s leadership points out that although the name has changed, the corporate mission remains the same. At JEC Europe, this was nowhere more evident than in several displays that focused on developed capa- bilities in the automotive sector. Specifically, Hexion is working on materials for resin transfer molding (RTM) and liquid compres- sion molding (LCM). New at the show was EPIKOTE TRAC 06170 epoxy combined with EPIKURE TRAC 06170 curing agent system. Hexion officials at the show said the material offers a 20-second injection phase (RTM or LCM) followed by 40-second cure, for a total cycle time of 60 seconds. The material’s optimized Tg, says Hexion, makes this possible.
Also on the Hexion stand was a unique composite suspension coil (see photo at top left), made with EPIKOTE epoxy and developed in cooperation with Sogefi (Milan, Italy) and Audi AG (Zwickau, Germany). This filament wound drop-in replacement for metallic springs trims 4.4 kg from Audi’s A6 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra.
The company also exhibited a Bakelite phenolic cam carrier (see photo, lower left) for Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI, US) as part of the multi-material light- weight vehicle (MMLV) program supported by the US Department of Energy. Typically made with aluminum, it was developed by WGS Global Services (Flint, MI, US) and uses chopped carbon fiber in an injection molding process. The composite material maintains dimensional properties at 200°C and reduces weight by 30%. The application is developmental, for now, but Hexion hopes Ford will adopt it into production.
Finally, Hexion exhibited something relatively unusual: a compact, all-in-one composites molding machine. Dubbed the Autonomous Tooling Solution (photo, top right), it features a mold chamber on top and side- mounted controls. It reportedly molds preformed prepregs or infuses preformed dry fibers and offers 100% vacuum capability, a 100-pull silicone bag, cure and temperature sensors and full PLC control. The machine at JEC was a prototype, designed to test marketability.