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Strategic partners in DCPD RIM.

Production difficulties experienced by a truck-body manufacturer created an opportunity for a small RIM molder to showcase its experience with a relatively new and little-known material. The success of that first application has solidified a strategic partnership between the customer, molder, and material supplier.

Re-Act Inc. is a four-year-old molder with 23 employees in Dayton, Ohio, specializing in RIM. Re-Act was contacted in June 1990 by Union City Body Co., a custom van and truck-body fabricator based in Union City, Ind. Union City was contracted to provide a front-end appearance package for a commercial truck fleet.

The package included a bumper fascia (26 lb), upper and lower grilles, and headlamp bezels. However, Union City was experiencing numerous tooling, processing and material performance problems with its polyurethane elastomer system.

Re-Act was one of a small number of firms that had molding experience with a dicyclopentadiene (DCPD)-based liquid molding resin called Metton 1000 from Hercules Inc., Wilmington, Del. Re-Act recommended the thermosetting olefin as an alternative to urethane.

Within six weeks, a strategic partnership was formed among Union City, Re-Act, and Hercules to manufacture the parts. Re-Act then purchased two RIM machines from Gusmer in Lakewood, N.J.

Re-Act got involved in the up-front engineering of the parts, and suggested changes in the designs that were originally geared to urethane. Re-Act president Donald Kleykamp recalls that by using Metton resin "we were able to offer design and processing improvements." These improvements included utilizing the screw-retention strength of DCPD resin to eliminate molded-in metal inserts and to design in bosses and attachment points. The partnership also optimized processing techniques for Metton with special mold and part design, which resulted in improved cycle times.

And Union City found the DCPD RIM system provided improved rigidity, impact resistance, and surface finish compared with the urethane resin.

This initial program for Union City was a relatively low-volume run: 5000 parts. But having successfully executed that project, Re-Act is now in production on a DCPD RIM package comprising the grille, structural headlamp brackets, and bezels for a truck body that Union City will supply to the GMC Div. of General Motors. Re-Act began production on these parts last December. (CIRCLE 20)
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Title Annotation:Pricing Update; dicyclopentadiene reaction injection molding
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:May 1, 1992
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