Compression molding is a very common application in the production of conventional plastic parts. Compression molding characteristics are also used in composite part production. But these composite parts must include thermosetting matrix material to establish the compression molding process.
The difference between these plastic matrix composite compression molding processes from the conventional one is the heated molding halves that are supporting the occurrence of required curing.
You know that also, composites must include reinforcement phases which are generally fibers, flakes, or particles. So, a very optimized flow must be established to obtain the intended structures of composites.
In general, there are three types of compression molding processes are used to produce different types of polymer matrix composites.
Electric reservoir compression molding is a special process to produce thin foam plates that include thin cloth surface layers. Like in the conventional compression molding process, there are two halves of molds.
The foam core which is impregnated with resin is placed on the lower half of the compression mold. This foam core is also placed between two thin dry fiber walls to obtain a sandwich structure.
When the upper half of the mold is pressed on the lower half with moderate pressures(Generally around 0.5-1 mPa), the resin inside the foam core is released to wet the dry outside fiber layers. After the curing of the resin, a completely thin sandwich structural layers are produced.
FRP compounds are produced as starting material for secondary applications like compression molding. According to the type of the starting FRP compounds, compression molding processes can be called, BMC molding, TMC molding, or SMC molding. These are the general types of FRP compounds.
These FRP compounds are cut into specific sizes, and they are formed with secondary compression molding processes to obtain the required shapes.
In this kind of compression molding process, precut mats are placed in the lower half of the mold. Resin is also placed as pellets or sheets. With the application of compression of the upper half, the resin is flown between the mat layers.
With the application of required heat, the resin is cured and fiber-reinforced molding parts are produced.
If we think about all the composite products, engineers can develop new production techniques to obtain required composite products like above.
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