Spray-up is a very goıod alternative to the hand lay-up method to produce products from fiber-reinforced polymers. In had lay-up processes, all the process steps are not automated. There is a very big requirement of the labor force and mastery. But in spray-up processes, all the process steps are adapted to automation.
In general, robotic systems are used in spray-up processes. These robotic systems can be programmed on specific paths to produce parts or objects from FRPs.
At the end effector of the spray-up process, there is a spray gun which is specially designed to produce parts from FRP laminates. In this spray gun, there is a special cutter that moves in reciprocating motion to cut out the fibers that are fed from stock. These cut and short fibers are mixed with a melted polymer which is sprayed from the spray gun.
This mixture is laid with spray-gun on FRP molds. And with the programmed path, the spray gun lays the FRP mixture on mold walls. The spray gun can trace the same path according to the thickness requirements.
The main advantage of the spray-up process is the minimum requirement of the human workforce in the manufacturing zone of FRPs. Because this environment is generally filled with hazardous volatiles that can be harmful to the health of the workers.
The density of the fibers inside the polymer liquid can be around 35%. But in conventional hand lay-up processes, this proportion can be up to 65%.
In general, big and hollow parts are produced with a spray-up process. These parts can be boat hulls, bathtubs, vehicle components, and other products that do not require extreme strength.
So, spray-up processes are used in FRP part production zones. This process is more suitable for serial production manner than the hand lay-up process.
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