Composite Advantage uses the Vacuum Infusion Process, the most cost effective method for molding large structural parts.
Dry fiberglass fabrics are laid down. These fabrics are similar to textiles and have glass fibers running in 0°, +45°, -45° and 90° directions. We put down the necessary number of layers and orientations to meet the design requirements. This creates one of the facesheet laminates of the sandwich panel.
The internal core is placed on the bottom facesheet. The vertical fiberglass in the core will become the shear webs. The closed cell foam is not structural; it provides shape until the part is fully molded. More amounts of fiberglass can be put on the foam to increase the structural properties of the webs.
Fiberglass fabrics are laid on top of the core to create the top facesheet laminate that is a mirror image of the bottom facesheet.
A bagging sheet is sealed to the molding tool so a vacuum can be achieved and resin infused in the part. See our Resource Center for more details on this process.
After resin is infused, a chemical reaction heats up the resin so it can cure into a solid part. The part is removed from the molding tool.
To complete the part, a series of finishing operations are performed. These include sanding, drilling, applying the non-slip wear surface, adding drainage scuppers, and coatings for aesthetics or extra environmental protection.
The Vacuum Infusion Process uses vacuum pressure to drive resin into a laminate. Materials are laid dry into the mold and the vacuum is applied before resin is introduced. Once a complete vacuum is achieved, resin is literally sucked into the laminate via carefully placed tubing. This process is aided by an assortment of supplies and materials. Vacuum infusion greatly improves the fiber-to-resin ratio, and results in a stronger and lighter product.
Benefits of Vacuum Infusion
General VIP Steps
For more information about the technology we use, visit our Resource Center.