Hybrid, RTM technology advancements

Molding technologies developer RocTool reports two new advances.

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Molding technologies developer RocTool (Le Bourget du Lac, France) reports two new advances: First, it is now possible to obtain an ultrathin hybrid thermoplastic composite/plastic part with no surface defects from a single mold and with a shorter cycle time, using RocTool’s Hybrid technology. The technology combines the advantages of a composite material with those of plastic injection in a two-step molding process that employs RocTool’s plastic injection molds and the company’s 3iTech technology. Second, RocTool says it is now possible to mold thermoset parts with a shorter cycle time and eliminate postcuring, using the company’s new high-speed resin transfer molding (RTM) technology. This offers thermoset composite part molding with cycle times of five to seven minutes, without the need for postcure. Roctool says the injection step is made easier because it functions at low temperatures (e.g., better control over the filling process, without risk of premature crosslinking, and a lower pressure level that reduces the stresses applied to the part). During the curing step, raising the crosslinking temperature is said to reduce the cycle time for an identical or even higher glass transition temperature, while eliminating the need for postcuring. Further, by cooling the part under pressure, it is possible to obtain Class A surface parts even while eliminating the final shaping step.