speeding up the process challenges the integrity of the output and the manufacturing process. As a result, several leading industries and top-ranked manufacturers seek help from composite material manufacturers. Compositesare special materials that can come in all shapes and sizes. The concept of customizing and engineering composites have opened a world of possibilities for new industry leaders in the world of sports, construction, military and law enforcement, aerospace engineering The world believes in quality and speed. However, these two features rarely coexist, since, renewable energy, and automotive.
What are the most popular types of composite manufacturing processes?
The purpose of each composite material varies according to the industry specifications. For example – in the case of automobile manufacturers, it can be a cosmetic part of the car, or it can be a functional part as well. In the case of aerospace, they mostly have functional roles. They are flexible and multi-purpose. Their design flexibility and high endurance make composite materials ideal for several purposes in every industry. Today, there are three types of composite manufacturing methods popular among all the industry leaders. Each process has its niche advantages and salient features. Find out more about the composites manufacturing processes at sparteccomposites.com.
Here are the three manufacturing processes that almost all leading producers follow –
- Open molding
- In case of an open casting, the resin and fibers remain open without a lid. They harden with the passage of time and exposure to air. For most small production requirements, open molding is the process of choice. It is inexpensive and straightforward. If you need to check out a sample of composite materials, your manufacturer of choice will likely go with an open mold design for the pitch.
- Closed molding
- Closed molding is a little more complicated than the open process. It involves a vacuum bag that seals in the composite materials. It can also include a two-sided mold in place of the plastic bag. In short, the composite material requires a closed environment to form. You should only consider a closed molding when you need a two-sided finish and when you need high production volumes.
- Cast polymer molding
- Cast polymers are unique, and they are often more expensive than the other molding options. The cast is usually customized, and the manufacturer designs the mold according to the fine specifications of the contractor. The resin and filler mixture usually go inside the cast, and the closed system helps the mixture set. The hardening of the mixture depends upon the reactions between the resins and the fillers. Therefore, a cast polymer mold can either be a closed mold or an open mold.
What factors influence the choice of molding process?
Choosing the correct molding process depends upon the available technology, resources, and budget. However, those are not the only factors that influence the choice. The best way to find the perfect choice of molding for your industrial needs would be to consider the factors below –
- The service life of the mold
- The cost of the molding and production
- The number of parts you need
- The specifications of the final product, surface finish and tolerance
- The choice of production materials
- The delivery deadlines and rates of production
- The available talent and tools
Any composite production process needs to weigh all these factors to be profitable for the providers and the buyers. If the cost of each part is too high, then the net cost of production will also become prohibitive. It might put off potential customers and create market drainage. So, apart from mold innovations and designs, you need to consider the cost of the process and available expertise as well.
In fact, there are a few considerations you must consider as well.
- The surface requirements –the gloss, texture, and profile of the final product of the molding. Depending on the purpose of the composite, the surface requirements will also change. If it is a part of an automobile exterior, the company might want a glossy and smooth texture.
- Expected volume – how many parts do you need? Do you need prototypes, which require between 1 and 5 parts? Are you looking for low-volume production, between 20 and 50 pieces? Or, do you want parts en masse (over hundreds or thousands)? Most profitable businesses commission composites in large volumes to make up for the cost of designing and setting up the mold.
- Accuracy – the quality of a mold and the process of molding can influence the finish and efficiency of the final product. Most composites need extensive assembling and fine-tuning. Without precise design and engineering, it is impossible to receive parts that fit together to create functional units.
- The durability of the mold – the mold needs to withstand several rounds of manufacturing if your company wants hundreds and thousands of composites. Redesigning the same form repeatedly due to easy wear-and-tear might increase the price of production beyond the profitable limits. Sometimes, a simple alteration of the design, like a higher draft angle, can contribute to higher tolerance to regular use.
- The speed of building –how much time does it take to make these molds? If creating one mold takes considerable time, money and effort, you might want to consider other options. In the event of unwarranted damage of a mold, the production process might experience a severe setback and create a snag in your assembly process.
In short, you need to consider plug making, designing, and engineering, surface preparation, maintenance, framing, and demolding before you can commission the services of any composites manufacturer. An experienced manufacturer will always be able to guide you towards the smartest mold choices and production options. Choosing the right process will save you considerable money that you can invest in other areas including marketing and sales.
The traditional cast polymer molding, open molding, and close molding options are always there for you. Today, it is possible to combine the salient features of all three molding processes to create composites that meet the strength requirements and endurance needs of specific tasks. So, what are you waiting for? Turn your design ideas into reality with the help of the latest composites manufacturing technology available.