Vacuum infusion

//Vacuum infusion

Vacuum infusion

Vacuum infusion is a variation of vacuum bagging where the resin is introduced into the mold after the vacuum has pulled the bag down and compacted the laminate. The method is defined as having lower than atmospheric pressure in the mold cavity. The reinforcement and core material are laid-up dry in the mold. This is done by hand and provides the opportunity to precisely position the reinforcement. When the resin is pulled into the mold the laminate is already compacted; therefore, there is no room for excess resin. Very high resin to glass ratios are possible with vacuum infusion and the mechanical properties of the laminate are superior. Vacuum infusion is suitable to mold very large structures and is considered a low volume molding process. The mold may be gel coated in the traditional fashion. After the gel coat cures, the dry reinforcement is positioned in the mold. This includes all the plies of the laminate and core material if required. A perforated release film is placed over the dry reinforcement. Next a flow media consisting of a coarse mesh or a “crinkle” ply is positioned, and perforated tubing is positioned as a manifold to distribute resin across the laminate. The vacuum bag is then positioned and sealed at the mold perimeter. A tube is connected between the vacuum bag and the resin container. A vacuum is applied to consolidate the laminate and the resin is pulled into the mold. Vacuum infusion can produce laminates with a uniform degree of consolidation, producing high strength, lightweight structures. This process uses the same low cost tooling as open molding and requires minimal equipment. Very large structures can be fabricated using this method. Vacuum infusion offers a substantial emissions reduction compared to either open molding or wet lay-up vacuum bagging.

2017-02-20T15:38:34+00:00
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