Light Resin Transfer Molding is Heavy on Manufacturing Benefits
Closed mold processes such as light resin transfer molding (LRTM), reusable bag molding (RSBM), and vacuum infusion process (VIP) are used to produce quality parts at lower costs. A variety of industries and applications benefit from closed mold processing while offering composites manufacturing workers a cleaner, healthier workplace environment with reduced emissions.
LRTM is one of the more efficient composites manufacturing processes, with reduced cycle times that can bolster production rates up to three molded parts per hour. This process can offer a viable and low-cost alternative to general aerospace, automotive composites, marine manufacturing, and other industry applications with benefits that outweigh prepreg and layup costs.
How Light Resin Transfer Molding works
LRTM increases mold cycles as fast as twenty minutes using several base molds and a single counter mold. The single, semi-rigid “B” mold used in conjunction with multiple base molds achieves higher production rates. As an example, three rigid “A” molds move from the mold prep area through the production cycle while the “B” mold remains in a fixed location. The flexibility of the “B” mold allows it to fit perfectly to the “A” mold, achieving ideal vacuum pressures and precision parts.
Aerospace, automotive and large-scale industrial projects are among the industry segments that use LRTM in composites production processes. As high-rate manufacturing dominates the commercial aerospace sector, major aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, are using LRTM to make composite primary structures.
For manufacturers who are looking to take advantage of the health and environmental benefits of closed mold processes, light resin transfer molding is a viable alternative to traditional composite manufacturing processes, with results that include higher productivity through reduced cycle times, lower costs and consistency and repeatability with cosmetic surface quality on both sides of the composite part.
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