New Reactive Resins for Thermoplastic RTM and Pultrusion
M. Glotin, ARKEMA, Colombes, France
Continuous Fiber Reinforced (CFR) Composites are seen as key future contributors to weight reduction targets in the automotive industry. Due to a greater maturity of the technology, epoxy or polyurethane based composites have already been introduced in high end and small series vehicles. In such applications, the production of structural parts is mostly carried out using High Pressure Resin Transfer Molding (HP-RTM) processes. One of the remaining challenges for this technology to enter the automotive mass market is to reach an overall part production cycle time well below 2 minutes.
Moving to Thermoplastic Composites offers several advantages on final part properties and recyclability, but also on cycle time reduction. Current thermoplastic technologies are mainly focusing on thermo-stamping of CFR-TP organosheets, but the use of reactive resins processed by RTM or Pultrusion would allow to reduce cost in by-passing one step in the value chain, ie. the production of the semi-finished products, but would allow also to increase the fiber content and give access to more complex 3D parts.
The recent development of the Elium® reactive resin by Arkema is answering this unmet need, and various manufacturing and process technologies such as Thermoplastic RTM and Thermoplastic Pultrusion offer new solutions for lightweighting structural automotive parts.
ITHEC 2016 Manuscript D5
Publication date: 01/10/2016
Manuscript D5 published in Conference Proceedings ITHEC 2016
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