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What's new in thermosets & composites.

A mixed bag of equipment, from compression presses to RTM, spray-up and mechanized lay-up. In materials, several new molding compounds.

NPE will present something of a potpourri of thermoset and composites equipment, with at least one example of a broad variety of processing equipment (not all of it brandnew) for compression and injection molding, RTM, spray-up, lay-up, and cultured marble. (Thermoset/RP injection machines are covered in the Injection Molding section.)

There will also be a handful of thermoset and composite materiasl suppliers, mostly with polyester SMC/BMC materials, but a few with phenolics and more exotic resins.


The braodest range of composites processing equipment will be shown by Venus-Gusmer, Kent, Wash. For sophisticated RTM, it will display the new hydraulically powered, constant-flowrate "Ram" dispensing machine introduced at the SPI Composites Institute meeting in February (see p. 19). Also introduced at that meeting was the Precision-Cast marble machine, designed for smaller throughput requirements than the company's older model. It dispenses 15 lb/min (vs. 20-60 lb/min for the larger machine), and it has also been simplified for easy maintenance. It holds 40 gal of resin, 1 gal of catalyst, and 400 lb of fillers in a two-compartment, divided hopper. Resin is poured from a pail into a filling chute that leads to a reservoir in the bottom of the machine. Resin and catalyst are metered by small gear pumps. All three ingredients are kept separate until they meet in the mix tube.

One of the machine's most desirable features is said to be its self-purging auger, which allows the unit to run all day without purging, says a company spokesman. The unit is mounted on lockable wheels and costs in the range of $30,000-40,000.

Venus will also be featuring its new seven-roll impregnator, a mechanized lay-up machine for wetting and placing woven fiberglass fabrics into a mold from an overhead gantry. The new version is said to provide greater saturation and less air entrapment than its older four-roll models (PT, April '90, p. 35).

Also new from Venus-Gusmer are a special Bridge Saw and router designed for highly precise and uniform preparation of composite test specimens.

A new gel coater, shown at the February SPI meeting, is from Glas-Craft Inc., Indianapolis. It includes the "LI" lightweight internal-mix gun, which has a needle valve to permit adjusting catalyst and resin pressures to matching levels. Resin and catalyst come together in a manifold block, followed by 12 in. of flexible static mixer embedded in the hose. A new standard feature is a horn alarm that sounds if a change in catalyst pressure is detected.

Glas-Craft will also bring its relatively new G-2 economy gel coater, an external-mix, airless/air-assist system that cost $4400. And it will introduce a brand-new "HP" low-volume gel coater for small parts and striping applications. It has an airless/air-assist gun, 22:1 pump, and "hot pot" for premixed resin and catalyst. Price is $1550.

Glas-Craft's joint venture, RTM Systems, Inc., in Indianapolis, will be bringing its new continuous-catalyzing Megaject II RTM system, as well as new RTM auxiliaries and supplies (see p. 19).


Hull Corp., Hatboro, Pa., will show the SmartMold press monitor for transfer and injection molding that was introduced last fall at Plastics West (PT, Dec. '90, p. 17).

And Finmac, Inc., Hatboro, Pa., will show a new "Lo Pro" deflasher, a more compact ("low-profile") low-pressure model that combines continuous, conveyorized deflashing and wet-mist cleaning in a single unit (dust collector is separate).


Several developments in SMC and BMC compounds will be highlighted at the show, most of which were discussed in last month's issue (p. 40). Rostone Corp., Lafeyette, Inc., will present a line of electrical-grade polyester SMC/BMC compounds that it is offering to other molders for the first time in years. Bulk Molding Compounds (BMC) Inc., St. Charles, Ill., will debut its BMC 800 series of high-performance compounds. These include corrosion-resistant polyesters and vinyl esters and a supertough hybrid resin system that yields notched Izod values up to 30 ft-lb/in. And Glastic Copr., Cleveland, will bring out the first of a series of low-cost BMCs. SLC-1000 is aimed at circuit breakers and other electrical parts and reportedly costs 15-25 [cents]/lb less than other medium-strength, UL 94V-0 compounds.

A new material not previously discussed is PolyStone polyester BMC from Industrial Dieelectrics, Inc., Noblesville, Ind. The initial grade in this decorative series is said to look like granite but is stronger and less expensive. It's aimed at sinks, countertops, bathroom fixtures, small appliances, and wall-switch plates. A second member of this family, due out in the next few months, will resemble marble.

IDI also has a new Sitherm silicone-modified polyester BMC, a colorable, water-and stain-resistant material that is said to be attractive for cookware.

There will be at least one new development in phenolics at the show: Durez 32633 high-glass-content injection molding compound from Durez Div. of Occidental Chemical Corp., North Tonawanda, N.Y. This grade is said to have improved dimensional stability and compressive strength at elevated temperatures, suiting it to automotive under-hood parts.

And at the high-tech end of thermoset molding compounds, Premix will show off the capabilities of its new Quantum Composites subsidiary in Midland, Mich. Quantum is taking over all Premix's activity in epoxy, vinyl ester and specialty-resin compounds. These include PMR-15 polyimide SMC and bismaleimide (BMI) SMC.
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Title Annotation:National Plastics Exposition '91
Author:Naitove, Michael H.
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:What's new in RIM & urethanes.
Next Article:What's new in compounding & mixing.

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