Material innovation may expand thermoset applications
A new glass-reinforced thermoset composite material offers a new method for producing low-volume composite products with sheet molding characteristics at lower cost. The material, called OpTorr, from ...
A new glass-reinforced thermoset composite material offers a new method for producing low-volume composite products with sheet molding characteristics at lower cost. The material, called OpTorr, from Premix Inc., is designed for use in closed-molding compression presses at pressures of 100 psi and a cure temperature of 200F. Used at these pressures the material offers molders the possibility of using composite and other ‘soft’ tooling alternatives to steel, thus substantially lowering the cost.
“Our intention with OpTorr is to make the compression molding and thermoset market bigger,” says a company spokesman for Premix. “The main hurdle for converting some of the spray-up applications to compression molding is the cost of steel tooling.”
There is a large potential market for low pressure compression molding methods at the thousands of small and medium size companies across North America currently using open molding methods to produce low-volume products – from parts for heavy trucks, boats and farm equipment, to sanitary and medical devices.
According to Warren Owens, Premix vice president, Compounding Molding Group, Premix has been under development since 1995. Says Owens: “Though there are other composite alternatives on the market, OpTorr is the only system that provides excellent flowability and processing, and allows manufacturers to abandon less efficient processes that are difficult to perform within environmental guidelines.”
The OpTorr system is available in two grades (U.L. compliant and general purpose) and three colors (black, gray and natural). According to Premix, there is at least one Canadian company currently doing development work with the material. For more information, contact Premix Inc. at: 440/224-2181.