Chem-Trend Featured in Compositi Magazine

June 25, 2013

Chem-Trend was recently featured as a composites industry expert in the Italian publication, "Compositi Magazine." Below is an excerpt from the article, published in the magazine's June 2013 edition:

Specialized processing aids for the needs of high quality composites manufacture

Milan, Italy, June 2013 - The replacement of metal parts by composite materials in the areas of automotive engineering and aeorospace allows for the construction of lightweight, energy efficient vehicles, offering high fatigue and corrosion resistance. With growing demands and increasing part sizes however, manufacturers are more than ever under pressure to reduce costs, minimize scrap rates and improve the overall production processes. Processing aids as provided by a specialist such as Chem-Trend play an important part in these efforts. They also help to further reduce the overall impact on the environment and to comply with government legislations regarding VOC-emissions.

Solutions for high volume production in the automotive sector

Because of CO2 emissions and the associated climate change, lightweight design is becoming more important in automotive construction. Therefore composites and especially carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) became more commonly used in high performance cars in the last 5 to 10 years. While many release agents in the market may be acceptable for low volume production, there are few that work for high volume production, the release agent application and the mould cleaning frequency being the bottle neck for the overall process. Manufacturers of automotive components should rely on a specialist who offers a complete portfolio of dedicated products for the respective production process. Chem-Trend for example is able to provide solvent based as well as water based complete release agent systems for RTM and press moulding processes, comprising mold primers, sealers, internal and external release agents, as well as ancillary products like mold cleaners. This allows high volume automotive composite manufacturers to keep their mold in production, making high quality parts for the long production runs needed to meet demand.

Thermoplastic composites increasing presence in Aerospace sector

Lightweight design in aerospace components is a trend to reduce aircraft weight and achieve fuel savings. While in 1982 only 8 percent of the materials used in the Airbus A 130 were composites, these numbers recently increased to up to 50 percent in the Airbus A 350 and the Boeing 787. Typical molded materials are PEEK (polyetheretherketon), PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) and PEI (polyetherimide). However, thermoplastic composites are demanding in terms of release requirements. Today not only specialized release agents for processing PPS and PEEK are available, but also complete release agent systems for high temperature molding processes as well as water based solutions, replacing the traditional solvent based systems.

Automated solutions in mold release preparation

The manufacturing of a composite part begins with the tooling, whose complexity and investment increase drastically with the increasing of part size. The increasing of automatization process like AFP (Automated Fibre Placement) or ATL (Automated Tape Laying) requires to find automated solutions in mold release preparation. Specialists such as Chem-Trend provide fully adjustable sprayable products to cope with the automatization requirements. Also available are semi permanent mold release systems as well as solutions for the preparation and protection of composite and metal molds.

In the development and manufacture of new composite components it pays off to consult with a specialist for processing aids early. This can help to increase the efficiency of the production process, reduce scrap, and lower overall costs.

Specialized processing aids for the needs of high quality composites manufacture; Compositi Magazine, June 2013

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