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11/1/2003

SmartTrac in-cavity cure monitoring system

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Signature Control Systems Inc.'s (Denver, Colo., U.S.A.) SmartTrac in-cavity cure monitoring system for the molding of thermoset compounds is based on epoxy, phenolic, polyester and vinyl ester resins. The system interfaces with virtually all thermoset compression, transfer and injection molding presses, and it

Signature Control Systems Inc.'s (Denver, Colo., U.S.A.) SmartTrac in-cavity cure monitoring system for the molding of thermoset compounds is based on epoxy, phenolic, polyester and vinyl ester resins. The system interfaces with virtually all thermoset compression, transfer and injection molding presses, and it measures the amount of crosslinking, cueing the press controls to automatically open the press at the optimum time. Abrasion-resistant sensors, mounted directly into production molds, detect subtle changes in electrical currents sent through the thermoset material as it cures. These changes in current, or impedance, are used to generate a "signature" data curve, which is unique to the specific compound. System software uses these signatures to control and optimize the cure time for each press cycle, resulting in minimum cure times and repeatable degree of cure from part to part. Cycle time reductions of up to 30 percent have been achieved in the field trials, says the company. Select 217

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