COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FastRTM, a project of an industry consortium supported by IRT M2P, focused on enabling composite mass production, used a specialty epoxy resin system from Hexion Inc. (“Hexion” or the “Company”) in a new production platform that won the 2017 JEC Innovation Award in the “Process” category.
FastRTM’s fully automated manufacturing platform demonstrates that reactive compression resin transfer molding (C-RTM) can be used to mass-produce “net shape” structural composite parts. Net shape parts are produced in final form without the need for further machining or other processing. This achievement validates that structural composite parts can be produced with the speed and at a cost required by high-volume automotive manufacturers.
Structural composite parts have traditionally only been used in premium and luxury automobiles. The FastRTM project demonstrates their feasibility for higher volume automotive platforms.
The FastRTM project used Hexion’s latest e-coat compatible fast-cure epoxy system - EPIKOTE™ Resin TRAC 06170 / EPIKURE™ Curing Agent TRAC 06170 - to produce the net shape parts via the C-RTM process in a two minute cycle time. This two-minute timeframe is a key benchmark for automotive mass production.
For decades, fiber-reinforced epoxy composites have been used in aerospace, wind energy, industrial and sport applications. Such composites offer key advantages compared to traditional metallic and plastic materials, including light weight, high strength, long life and outstanding fatigue and corrosion resistance. Epoxy composites can be recycled or recovered using existing technologies.
“As an active member of the FastRTM consortium, Hexion provides expertise on fast-cure epoxy resin systems and on ways to optimize RTM and liquid compression molding (LCM) processes,” said Francis Defoor, Global Market Segment Leader Transportation, Hexion. “We are proud to be a part of this group as together we develop innovations in the use of composites. Fiber-reinforced epoxy composite solutions are capable of supporting the global automotive industry in its effort to adopt lightweight alternatives to steel and aluminum to meet aggressive fuel consumption targets driven by regulation. Hexion has already proven its value in the RTM/LCM arena through current partnerships with global automotive manufacturers including Audi, BMW and General Motors.”
The FastRTM consortium is led by the French Institut de Recherche Technologique—Matériaux, Métallurgie et Procédés (IRT M2P). IRT M2P is a mutualized research center bringing together skills of industrial and public research, based on public-private coinvestment and partnerships. IRT M2P accelerates innovation, develops key technologies and provides technological platforms for industrial companies The consortium partners includes: Renault s.a.s., the Faurecia Group, the Hutchinson Group, Hexion, the Chomarat Group, Arkema Inc., Composite Integrity by Institut de Soudure Group, Pinette Emidecau Industries (PEI), Compose Tools, and the Société d’Industrie et de Service Electrique (SISE).
Visitors to the JEC show in Paris, March 14-16 can meet with Hexion representatives in Hall 6 Booth G54 to learn more about the Company’s latest developments in composites. Demonstration parts manufactured using the JEC Innovation Award-winning process will be on display at the Hexion booth and in the Auto Planet area.
About the Company
Based in Columbus, Ohio, Hexion Inc. (formerly known as Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc.) is a global leader in thermoset resins. Hexion Inc. serves the global wood and industrial markets through a broad range of thermoset technologies, specialty products and technical support for customers in a diverse range of applications and industries. Hexion Inc. is controlled by investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC. Additional information about Hexion Inc. and its products is available at www.hexion.com.