JEC World 2019: Hexion
Hexion (Columbus, Ohio, U.S.) emphasized several technologies, starting in automotive where the company is still seeing resistance to composites use, driven primarily by cost concerns. To address this, Hexion counsels use of existing automotive manufacturing equipment (presses) as much as possible. To that end, the company introduced version two of its epoxy sheet molding compound (version one was introduced at JEC World 2018), which is compatible with existing automotive compression machines. It features a higher Tg and increased/better viscosity properties. Also new is a phenolic SMC designed specifically for heat and fire resistance in battery enclosures for electric vehicles (EV). It offers low free-form formaldehyde levels and has passed the bonfire test critical to enclosure use. Hexion’s Francis Defoor, global market segment leader transportation, says the company see much EV use being driven aggressively by China. Further, he says EV OEMs seem generally more receptive to use of composites, particularly in parts and applications (like battery enclosures, see photo) that do not have a history of legacy materials use.
Also for automotive, Hexion has partnered with Votteler and KraussMaffei to develop an in-mold coating process for resin transfer molding (RTM) or liquid compression molding processes that provides a Class A surface on the finished part.
For aerospace, Hexion introduced a new two-component epoxy system for RTM and infusion based on the company’s EPIKOTE system 600-2 Part A (resin) and Part B (curing agent). It is designed for a use with a mixing and metering unit supplied by Hübers.
For the wind energy market, Hexion presented a new EPON epoxy resin to accelerate manufacture of pultruded wind blade spar caps and similar structures. For the construction market, Hexion announced a fiber-reinforced Qora polymer panel for building cladding applications. The vacuum-formed panels feature Hexion’s Resonance phenolic resins and are designed to replicate traditional brick, stone or wood siding while providing enhanced safety, fire-resistance, cost and installation advantages. The panels are being sold through Articell LLC.
Automated process cuts cycle time and cost for CFRP parts with potential for 65% fiber volume via Dynamic Fluid Compression Molding variant.
New technologies and improved methods keep up as tools get bigger and more complex and toolmaking gets ever more challenging.
Spirit AeroSystems actualizes Airbus’ intelligent design for the A350’s center fuselage and front wing spar in Kinston, N.C.