Composites One Demonstrates Closed Mold Processes at CAMX 2021

Luxury private motor yacht sailing at sea

At CAMX 2021, Composites One demonstrated turnkey solutions for closed mold processes that are a great option for marine manufacturing. Light Resin Transfer Molding (LRTM), Reusable Bag Molding, and the Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) are methods used by marine manufacturers to construct boat hulls, decks, and other marine parts. The technical experts at Composites One and the Closed Mold Alliance assist with the process and material selection including equipment, tooling design, and production.

Closed Mold methods in marine manufacturing

The Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) is used by boat manufacturers to produce parts of all shapes and sizes. Typically this process is ideal where part runs are lighter. However, more and more boatbuilders are considering vacuum infusion for all their production needs. During this process, once the materials are laid in the mold, vacuum bagging material is laid on top. Once in place with tape and any other needed process materials, a vacuum is applied using a pump. Resin is then infused into the part – sometimes with just one vacuum port strategically placed or with multiple ports depending on the size of the part being produced. Composites One works closely with suppliers like Polynt, INEOS, and AOC for vinyl ester resin, as well as several epoxy suppliers, to select the right product for the desired result.

Like the standard vacuum infusion process, with Reusable Bag Molding, the resin is injected into the mold once a vacuum is achieved using a pump. There can be one resin port placed strategically, or several depending on the size of the part. When using a silicone bag, added details may be built into the bag to enhance the process, such as the seal, vacuum channel, plus the flexibility to add or remove a ply. Reusable bag molding reduces the consumable materials used in the infusion process like vacuum bagging film, sealant tape, spiral wrap and connections.

Light Resin Transfer Molding (LRTM) is a highly repeatable process that is ideal for high production needs on large or small parts. A valued Composites One supplier and fellow member of the Closed Mold Alliance, Magnum Venus Products (MVP), offers a closed mold injection system that can be used in a wide range of closed mold applications, including Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), LRTM, reusable bags, and with vinyl ester or polyester resins, as well as Epoxy.

The benefits vs. open mold

Closed mold processing methods offer many benefits when compared to traditional open molding in demanding composites manufacturing processes. Manufacturers can achieve reduced waste and fewer emissions, a more consistent and repeatable process, and reduced cycle times which lead to higher productivity and lower labor costs while achieving the desired part quality and surface cosmetics.

As a leader in closed mold processes, Composites One offers products from the industry’s leading suppliers, including high-quality vacuum bagging and process materials available from Aerovac.

Learn more about the benefits of closed mold manufacturing processes.