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Development of a closed mould process competitive against hand lay up and spray up technologies


The 30% ol` European thermosetting composite production is related to old open mould production methods such as hand lay up ana spray up Both technologies have advantages and disadvantages againts newer technologies. The advantages come in the form of competitiveness for low slze b atches and large size parts due to the low cost of tooling needed and the use of a simple one pan mold The disadvantages are related to enviromental. health quality and general properties of the manufacturea parts. The relation between advantages and disadvantages has been positive for open mould technologies, but there are two important factors to be taken in account: The new environmental legislation that looks forward a decrease of styrene emissions down to 20 ppm in several European countries and the important number of rejected pans from a quality concienced market. The main objective of the proposal is to develop a process that will substitute in the future a 30% of the actual volume manufactured by open molding techniques. The proposed RTD approach is to develop a closed mould process that solving the actual disadvantages, will be designed with the low cost and simplicity specification as the most important ones to be taken in account. To develope this RTD approach. several tasks must be developed including the definition of the specifications of pans manufactured by open mould technologies. design of low cost moulds. design of low cost toolings and prototype manufacturing and testing.


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