Light resin transfer molding (LRTM) is a manufacturing process that combines the advantages of injection molding and resin infusion to produce composite parts with complex geometries. LRTM is well suited for the production of small to medium-sized parts with intricate shapes and can be used to manufacture parts with both internally and externally oriented features. LRTM has several advantages over traditional manufacturing processes. We will discuss these benefits and more below, so keep reading to find out if light resin transfer molding is the right solution for your next composite project!
Understanding Light Resin Transfer Molding
So, what is light resin transfer molding? Why should you use it? This section details all you need to know about this exciting manufacturing process. In LRTM, a preform (usually in the form of a 3D-printed model or CNC machined mold) is placed into a mold. The preform can be made from any material that can withstand the temperatures and pressures of the infusion process; common materials include aluminum and stainless steel. A vacuum is then used to draw the resin into the preform, filling all of the voids and ensuring there are no entrapped air bubbles. After the vacuum is released, the excess resin is removed from the part’s surface and allowed to cure.
The Benefits of Light Resin Transfer Molding
There are many unique benefits to using light resin transfer molding, including:
Tight Tolerances: LRTM can be used to produce components with extremely tight dimensional tolerances, making it ideal for applications where precision is critical. Numerous injection and resin infusion points also help to ensure that the resin is evenly distributed throughout the preform.
Improved Strength and Stiffness: The pressure used in LRTM helps to compress the fibers in the preform, resulting in a final part that is stronger and stiffer than one produced using traditional infusion methods.
Reduced Porosity: LRTM reduces the number of voids in the final composite part, resulting in a stronger, lighter-weight part.
Reduction in Labor Costs: LRTM is a largely automated process. As such, it reduces the amount of labor required in manufacturing. Additionally, LRTM can be used to produce components with complex geometries that would be difficult or impossible to produce using traditional methods.
Increased Productivity: LRTM is a fast and efficient manufacturing process, with cycle times typically shorter than traditional methods. This increased efficiency results in reduced overall production costs.
Increased Design Freedom: Light resin transfer molding allows for greater design freedom than other composite manufacturing processes. This is because the 3D-printed preform can be made to any shape or size; the only limitation is the mold size.
Improved Surface Finish: Light resin transfer molding produces parts with a smooth surface finish, as the preform acts as a template for the final part. This is in contrast to other composite manufacturing processes, such as hand layup, where the operator's skill determines the surface finish. Light resin transfer molding is an advanced composite manufacturing process that offers numerous advantages over traditional methods. Light resin transfer molding is an advanced composite manufacturing process that offers numerous advantages over traditional methods.
Do You Need Professional Light Resin Transfer Molding?
If you are looking for a composite manufacturing partner that can provide light resin transfer molding services, contact the experts at Painted Rhino today. We are a leading provider of composite manufacturing services, and we would be happy to discuss your project with you. Request a quote today!