CAMX 2017 preview: A. Schulman
A. Schulman Inc. (now LyondellBasell, Fairlawn, OH, US) is introducing its new Quantum LYTEX SF series of styrene-free, epoxy-based sheet molding compounds, which are said to allow customers to mold complex, lightweight 3D shapes without compromising surface appearance. A. Schulman says epoxy SMCs continue to attract the interest of many OEMs with a strong combination of physical properties, surface appearance and ease of processing. Features of Quantum LYTEX SF include:
- Low out-gassing, reduced VOC emissions, low odor
- Simple to process
- Premium surface appearance
- Good mechanical and thermal properties
- Available with Forged Preg technology (continuous carbon fiber)
The composite wing leading edge on Boeing’s Dreamliner features an integrated heating element that incorporates a sprayed metal conductive layer within the laminate stack.
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.
A look at the process by which precursor becomes carbon fiber through a careful (and mostly proprietary) manipulation of temperature and tension.