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Technical Paper

High Productivity/Low Cost Manufacturing Approach to SRIM Molding

Structural Reaction Injection Molding (SRIM) is generally regarded as a thoroughly developed technology and is currently utilized in many automotive applications; most prominently door panels but also other applications, for example package trays and headliners. The traditional production process involves the placement of a glass fiber mat into a mold prior to injection of a suitable liquid resin system. Upon removal of the part, the glass mat is thoroughly encapsulated by the resin system forming a structural composite material. In the new Long Fiber Injection (LFI) process, the glass fibers are injected along with the resin mixture onto the production mold. This new process demonstrates a new approach to high productivity, low cost manufacture of LD-SRIM composites.
Technical Paper

Low Density Structural RIM II: High Productivity LD-SRIM

Glass mat reinforced structural polyurethane foam or low density structural reaction injection molding (LD-SRIM) has found a niche in the manufacture of high quality, light weight, automotive, interior trim substrates. Current trends in the automotive industry indicate the need for cost reductions without sacrificing quality. A high productivity LD-SRIM system has been developed which meets this need. This cost reduction is achieved by the incorporation of an internal mold release agent and a 25 % decrease in demold time compared to current LD-SRIM technology. These technological advancements give the trim component manufacturer an increase in productivity by eliminating the time and labor required to apply external mold release and a shorter demold time. These advancements also provide for a significant reduction in the volatile organic compounds and cost associated with external mold release agents.
Technical Paper

MDI Cream Foam for Automotive Pour in Place Applications

Cream foam is a polyurethane technology designed for molding foam articles such as automotive headrests or armrests directly into their decorative coverstocks. This process allows for the single step molding of covered foam articles eliminating the secondary step of attaching the cover needed in conventional operations. The advantage cream foam offers over conventional molded foam is that penetration of the stitched seams and foam backing of the coverstock is avoided or controlled. Cream foam technology has improved with the development of a MDI-based polyurethane system that reduces penetration of the foam and fabric bilaminate coverstocks by 25% and the molded foam density by 15%. These improvements result in a cost reduction in the manufacturing of arm or head rests.
Technical Paper

Recycling of RIM Polyurea Elastomers by Thermal Processing

Management of manufacturing scrap and post-consumer scrap from automobiles will increasingly influence both the acceptance of plastics and choice of plastics in the automotive industry. Polyurea elastomers made by reaction injection molding (RIM) offer many processing, property and cost advantages desired by the automotive industry but their crosslinked nature has generally implied that the scrap cannot be recycled by a widely used recycling method, thermal processing. Recently introduced ICI Polyurethanes imine-polyurea materials for automotive exterior applications can be thermally processed using extruders into sheets, profiles, tubes, moldings etc. The extruded materials have good mechanical integrity and many end-use applications are possible.
Technical Paper

The Next Step in Acoustical Part Weight Reduction

Weight reduction with maintained part performance is a continuing trend throughout the automotive industry. Acoustical insulation parts (carpet underlay and dash insulators) are no exception. Several years ago, ICI Polyurethanes led the industry in establishing a molded density standard of 48 kg/m3. Although this is the current production standard, the technology drive is toward even lower weights. Recent technological demonstrations show that molded densities of 35-38 kg/m3 are achievable. In addition to removing weight, acoustical performance can be maintained with no deficiencies in physical characteristics.