Our extensive experience with vacuum infusion enables us to produce innovative and cost effective parts for our OEM customers, including Bombardier Transportation and Alstom.
The process is best suited for mid-volume production in the range of 200 to 5,000 parts per year and yields products with high strength-to-weight ratio.
Vacuum infusion typically utilises a mould similar to the one used in hand lay up, but differs in that the reinforcement is placed into the mould dry, covered with an air-tight plastic or rubber bag, and upon removing air from under the bag with a vacuum pump, the resin is allowed to “bleed” or infuse into the dry fabric to create the composites.
Very large parts can be made by this method although it requires a very low viscosity resin and a relatively long fill time as well as bleeder film and other venting. The resin infusion process results in very low void content and excellent mechanical properties due to the relatively high glass content.
Resins: polyester, vinyl ester, epoxy resin
Cores: balsa, foam
- Pre-placement of reinforcement can be employed to achieve optimum strength-weight ratios
- Best choice for products with high strength-to-weight requirements, or with slight design returns, edge overhangs, or high draft angles that would cause die-locks on rigid B-side mould surfaces.
- Complex multi-layer laminates with cores and inserts can be completed in a single step rather than as individual layers
- In-mould gel coat finishes can be employed for desired cosmetic finishes
- It is more difficult to use this process with filled resins, which are frequently required in construction for building code compliance
- Cosmetic finish on the surface is not as good as open molds process due to fabric print through; however, a barrier coat can be used to improve the finish.
- Tooling cost is higher
Contact us today so we can begin discussing your project needs.