In this open molded process, unsaturated material (fiberglass, carbon, kevlar, etc.) is placed onto the mold surface, wet out with resin by either spray gun, brush, or roller, and hand rolled with specialized composite tools to eliminate all air voids and form material into all contours of the mold. This method is used in a variety of applications, and works well for maintaining consistent thickness, proper resin to fiberglass ratio, and any structural requirements.
This open molded process consists of strands of fiberglass gun roving that flow through the “chopper gun”, get “chopped” into short segments and externally mixed with resin, then get deposited on the mold surface. The material then gets hand rolled using specialized composite tools to eliminate all air voids and form contours much like the hand lay-up process. The random pattern of glass from the chopped segments provides equal strength in all directions. This is one of the most common methods for producing a wide variety of parts.
*LRTM* Light Resin Transfer Molding is a closed mold process using rigid “A” and “B” side molds. Unsaturated material is placed onto the “A” side surface, the “B” side mold is then placed over the material loaded “A” side mold and sealed using vacuum pressure. Resin is then drawn into the cavity under vacuum pressure, consistently saturating the dry material. This process can ensure cosmetic surfaces on both sides of the part, and is a cleaner and more consistent alternative to open molding when applicable.
*CCBM* Closed Cavity Bag Molding is a closed mold process similar to LRTM, but instead typically uses a flexible silicone “B” side mold. This process is ideal when achieving a high fiber to resin ratio is desired.
VIP* Vacuum Infusion Process also similar to CCMB, but uses a different assortment of materials and supplies to allow the resin to flow into the dry laminate. This process is also ideal when achieving a high fiber to resin ratio is desired.
Benefits to Closed Molding Processes include:
-No VOC emissions
-Consistent fiber to resin ratios
-Improved working conditions
-Faster molding cycles
-Reduced labor costs and waste
-Consistent material usage
-Improved process control
-Better part cosmetics
While the closed molding process can be an improvement over open molding, it does
require that the tooling and parts be designed with this process in mind, so it’s best to consider the benefits and limitations of closed molding before production. A good rule to live by is “Design for the Process”, regardless of which process you use.
Post Molding Capabilities
*Trim and Grind* At Sunrise Fiberglass, we invest in the latest technology to provide optimal solutions for our customers. Our advanced 5-Axis CNC router allows us to improve repeatability, hold tighter tolerances, maintain fewer tool interference issues, and ensures faster cutting times. For lower volume parts, we produce grinding fixtures that allow us to cut your part by hand the same way every time. (applicable to all – then decide on finish to determine the next steps)
*Tab and Glue* For parts that require metal brackets, studs, sound insulation, or any “B” side hardware to be bonded in, we have a department dedicated to this process. Using custom made fixtures to ensure tolerance and repeatability, we can apply whatever hardware necessary to your part.
*Sandblasting* Our large sandblast booth will ensure that your part is consistently and entirely prepared to receive any filling agents and primer.
*Pre-Paint* Our in house department of trained technicians will see that your sandblasted parts are properly finished out to accept paint.
*Paint* We offer 2 kinds of paint options. The first is properly prepped and primed, ready for the customer to paint. The second is finishing painting, whether it be a textured surface, or an automotive finish.
*Gel Coat Finish* Gel coated parts are buffed and finished out to your desired cosmetic appearance.
*Assembly* Our assembly department is responsible for any and all assembly requirements, from simple hinges, to complete automotive grade sub-assemblies
*Packaging and Shipping Solutions* From cardboard boxes, to complicated returnable racking solutions, we are committed to supplying and shipping what our customers specify.
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