Quicker core molding process

Toray Industries has developed a new molding process for the manufacture of carbon fiber reinforced plastic mobility components.

The technology involves sandwiching a light, porous carbon fiber-reinforced foam core with a thermosetting prepreg skin, the company said.

According to Toray, the process makes it possible to mold mobility components such as a car roof 10 times faster than a conventional autoclave molding setup, with half the weight of steel counterparts.

In tests, a 2m long x 1.2 m wide x 2.3 mm thick automobile roof panel was pressed in just five minutes, and the skin core interface reportedly did not delaminate.

The molding technology also makes it possible to fabricate large panels in a single press shot, because the core and skin are bonded at the same time in the same mold. As well as this, the prepreg thermosetting resin penetrates the porous carbon fiber core to bond the skin and core materials without using adhesives, the company said.