Moldex Composites opens new facility in India

The Gujarat, India, plant will offer detail designing, material choice, laminate design, pattern, mold and jig design and manufacture. Focus will be on hand layup of carbon and glass fiber prepreg.

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Moldex Composites Pvt. Ltd. (Mumbai, India) announced on Dec. 6 the opening of a new composites manufacturing facility in a Special Economic Zone at Sachin, Surat, Gujarat, India.

The facility will offer detail designing, material choice, laminate design, pattern, mold and jig design and manufacture. Systems in place include Dassault Systemes' Catia V5, PowerMill from Delcam, coordinate measuring using PowerInspect software also from Delcam, and Gemini software for digitising and editing of hand- or CAD-produced templates, which are then nested to optimise material usage before cutting.

Moldex is initially specialising in hand lamination and autoclave or oven curing of parts made from either carbon and/or glass fibre/epoxy prepreg. Current alternative process includes resin film infusion with toughened epoxy and the possibility of an epoxy resin film reinforced with carbon nanotubes for extra fracture toughness.

The facility also features a Class 8 cleanroom dedicated to prepreg, laminating and vacuum bagging. From there parts are taken for processing in a 1.5m diameter by 4.5m long autoclave with a temperature capability of 220°C and 10 bar pressure. Storage of prepreg materials is in two, fully monitored, large walk-in freezers.

Within the production hall is a CMS Ares 5-axis CNC machine. The Ares is configured particularly for use in the composites industry for machining of epoxy tooling block patterns, wooden patterns, aluminium tools, jigs and fixtures, final machining and trimming of composite components.

Targeted applications include road/race car chassis (sports and single seat), bodywork, steering wheels, wings, suspension, engine ancillaries‘ (pipes, intake, oil and water tanks), seating, furniture, ladders, electronic boxes, ducting and bicycle frames. The company is also targeting aerospace, wind turbines, aircraft, helicopters, satellite parts, satellite dishes, scale models, medical parts, industrial machinery and film camera equipment. ISO 9001 and AS9100 certification implementation in progress