Process Aids for Lay-up Process used in Composites Molding
The term Lay-up refers to the basic process of molding composites by either of the following methods:
Combining fibers with a resin by either:
- adding a wet resin mixture that is mixed with chopped fibers
- placing fibers on the mold in the form of a mat, and then pouring the resin over the mat
- Pre-impregnated fabric (pre-preg) resins
Chem-Trend’s expertise is in developing solutions to the challenges that each process places on the task of releasing parts from molds, and the effect that action has on both the mold and the released part.
Open Lay/Wet Resin
This process is the simplest method of making a composite part. The part is made with a “cosmetic” surface, i.e. one that is formed by being in direct contact with the mold and a non-cosmetic surface, that’s “open” to the air. Parts are mostly manufactured with a gel-coat as the cosmetic surface, but can be made with resin and textile only. The mold surface, which is reflected on the molded part surface, is of prime importance and needs to be prepared properly to the level of “finish” required on the molded part.
Chem-Trend has decades of experience developing and manufacturing industry leading release systems for Open Lay/Wet Resin processes. Learn more about our Open Lay/Wet Resin solutions.
Pre-impregnated (pre-preg) composite materials are also commonly referred to as “advanced composites” because of the high strength fibers that are often used with them. Pre-pregs are laid on a mold surface, consolidated with bagging materials under vacuum, and then heat-cured – most often by autoclave. The mold release system utilized in this process must ensure that the pre-preg remains in place during the lay-up procedure while, at the same time, providing sufficient slip to allow for easy fiber placement.
Because of our long history in the composites industry we are very familiar with the challenges of molding with pre-preg. Our company has built its reputation on solving industry problems and finding ways to boost the efficiency and reduce the scrap of our customers and we have been doing this successfully in the composites industry for more than twenty-five years. Find out more about how we can add value to your pre-preg operations.