The mold uses a hydraulic press to apply pressure to force the material to contact all mold areas while maintaining temperature and pressure until the molded material is cured. The compression molding method uses thermosetting resins in the partial curing stage, in the form of pellets, putty-like quality or prepregs.
Compression molding is a high-capacity, high-pressure method suitable for molding complex high-strength glass fiber reinforced materials. The advantage of compression molding is that it can mold large, rather complex parts. In addition, compared to other methods such as transfer molding and injection molding, it is one of the lowest cost molding methods. In addition, it wastes relatively little material and has advantages when using expensive compounds.
Compared to injection molding, it produces fewer braided threads, and a smaller amount of fiber length degradation is significant. Compression molding is also suitable for the production of super-large matrix shapes whose dimensions exceed the capabilities of extrusion technology.
Compression molding is first used to make composite parts for metal replacement applications, and compression molding is often used to make larger flat or moderately curved parts. This molding method is widely used to manufacture automotive parts such as hoods, fenders, spoons, spoilers and smaller and more complex parts. The material to be molded is positioned in the mold cavity, and the heated pressure plate is closed by a hydraulic pressure head. Bulk molding compound (BMC) or sheet molding compound (SMC) conforms to the shape of the mold by applying pressure and is heated until a curing reaction occurs. The SMC feed is usually cut to fit the surface area of the mold. The mold is then cooled and the parts are removed.
Thermoplastic matrices are common in the mass production industry. For example, the leading technologies in automotive applications are long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) and glass fiber mat reinforced thermoplastics (GMT).
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