There is more than one way to skin a cat and none more so than the composite manufacturing techniques available: from traditional wet lay-up to high tech compisites such as Prepreg. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages e.g Prepreg is the most costly and labour-intensive. Let us recommend the best technique, all of which are employed at Dex Composites Ltd, for your project dependent upon your specification with regards to structural integrity, aesthetic appeal and weight. However, let's be clear, with modern and consitent manufacture of the raw materials, the differences in weight and stength between the various methods is not as great as you might think. During the quote process we will be happy to show you comparisons in cost, projected weight and strength of your product of the various techniqies and materials available to us. Whichever process you select, we guarantee that we only use top-quality raw materials throughout.
Prepreg is a type of composite material that is made from reinforcement fibers (such as carbon fiber or glass fiber) that have been impregnated with a partially cured resin. The fibers and resin are combined in a precise and controlled manner to form a sheet or fabric that can be easily molded into a final product.
Prepreg is commonly used in the manufacture of composite parts for a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, and sporting goods. One of the key benefits of prepreg is that it provides a controlled and accurate way to introduce the reinforcement and resin into a mold, resulting in a consistent and high-quality final product.
The prepreg material is typically stored at low temperatures in order to keep the resin from curing completely. When it is ready to be used, the prepreg is placed into a mold and subjected to heat and pressure, causing the resin to cure and harden into a solid composite part. The combination of the precisely controlled fiber placement and the uniform curing of the resin makes prepreg a popular choice for high-performance composite applications where strength, accuracy, and consistency are important.
Resin infusion is a process used to manufacture composite materials, such as those made from carbon fiber. In this process, dry carbon fiber fabric is placed in a mold, and then a liquid resin is introduced under pressure. The resin permeates the fabric, filling the spaces between the fibers and forming a solid, homogeneous composite material.
The main advantages of resin infusion over traditional composite fabrication methods, such as hand layup, are improved quality and reduced weight. Because the resin is introduced under pressure, it is evenly distributed throughout the composite, resulting in a more consistent and uniform final product. Additionally, because the resin is infused into the dry fabric, rather than brushed or rolled on, there is less waste and less residual resin, leading to lighter final parts.
Resin infusion is commonly used in the manufacture of high-performance composite products, such as boat hulls, aircraft components, and racing car parts. Because it is a closed-mold process, it is also well-suited to producing large, complex-shaped parts, such as wing spars and fuselage sections.
Vacuum Pressure Infusion (VPI) is a composite material fabrication method that involves the use of vacuum pressure to force resin into a laminate structure. This process is commonly used to produce lightweight, high-strength composite parts such as those found in the aerospace, marine, and sporting goods industries. The main advantages of VPI include the ability to produce complex shapes, a reduced risk of air entrapment, and improved material distribution.