What is epoxy resin molding?

 

Epoxy is a term that has been widely adapted and accepted for various kinds of uses beyond fiber reinforced polymer composites. In these days, epoxy adhesives are sold in local hardware shops, retail stores or in super markets. The epoxy resin is also used as the binder in counter tops and coating for floors. The great variety in uses for epoxy continues to expand and this variety of epoxy is constantly being developed and researched on to fit in to the industries and products that they are used in. Here is a short list of things that epoxies resin is used in:

  • General purpose adhesive uses
  • Used as the binder in cements and mortars
  • Rigid foams
  • Non skid coatings
  • Solidifying rough surfaces in oil drilling
  • Industrial grade coatings
  • Potting and encapsulating media products
  • Fiber reinforced plastic products

 

In the world of fiber reinforced polymers also known as plastics, epoxy is also used as the resin matrix to efficiently hold the fiber in place. The most effective aspect of epoxy resin is that it is compatible with all common reinforcing fibers including fiberglass, carbon fiber, aramid and basalt.

Common products that the epoxy resin is used in:

  • Filament Winding,
  1. Pressure vessels
  2. Pipes
  3. Housing
  4. Recreational equipments
  • Pultrusion
  1. Insulating rods
  • Compression molding
  1. Aircrafts and different parts of it
  2. Skis and skating equipments
  3. Skateboarding
  4. Circuit boards
  • Autoclave
  1. Aerospace components
  2. Bicycle and frames
  3. Hockey sticks
  • Vacuum infusion
  1. Boats and associating machineries
  2. Wind turbine blades

 

There are many more FRP composite products manufactured from epoxy resin, but the mentioned ones were commonly manufactured and by a particular manufacturing process. Also to note, the same epoxy resin cannot be used for each of the mentioned process. Epoxies are usually finely modified and tuned for the desired usage and application and the particular manufacturing process. As an example, protrusion and compression molding epoxy resins are heat activated where an infusion resin might have a lower viscosity, RomeoRim is expert with this process. Compared to other thermoplastic resins, epoxy resins have some advantages. Such as, low shrink during cure, excellent moisture resistance and top notch chemical resistance, good electrical properties, great mechanical and fatigue strength, impact resistance, no VOC and long shell life. Coming to the chemistry of the epoxy resin, epoxies are thermosetting polymer resins where the resin molecule has one or more epoxide groups. It can be adjusted to almost perfect the viscosity required for the end use. The two primary types of epoxies are glycidyl epoxy and non glycidyl epoxy. Glycidyl epoxy resins can be further defined as glycidyl-amine, glycidyl ester, or glycidyl ether.  Non-glycidyl epoxy resins can be either aliphatic or cyclo aliphatic resins. One of the most common glycidyl epoxy resin is created by using Bisphenol-A and it is synthesized by reacting with epichlorohydrin. Another type of commonly used epoxy is known as novolac based epoxy resin.

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