Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic
Companies like JLG Industries and Gerber Technologies are replacing steel machine enclosures with a more contemporary, modern look, achieved with Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP). Other common forms of conversions would be wood-to-plastic and metal-to-plastic.
Composites are broadly known as reinforced plastic. Specifically, composites are a reinforcing fiber in a polymer matrix. Most commonly, it is fiberglass reinforced plastic, although high-strength fibers such as aramid and carbon are used in advanced applications. McClarin Plastics can help you make the switch to fiberglass reinforced plastic through several different processes: cold molding, open molding, resin transfer molding, vacuum infusion molding, and low pressure SMC.
Composites typically use thermoset resins, which begin as liquid polymers and are converted to solids during the molding process. This process, known as crosslinking, is irreversible. Because of this, these polymers are known as thermosets and cannot be melted and reshaped.
Fiberglass reinforced plastics are typically noted for their strength, corrosion resistance, style, complex shapes, shorter lead times, and numerous design applications. To extend that flexibility even further, McClarin offers several molding techniques:
With hand lay-up or spray-up, and sometimes assisted by vacuum bag molding, this process provides the quickest start-up and the most economical initial tooling investment.
Cold molding uses a low pressure, room temperature cure system and matched molds made of either metal, epoxy or polyesters. With cold molding, part tolerances are controlled more uniformly, both surfaces are smooth and production is increased.
This process is similar to cold molding, although the molds are more substantial in order to withstand the injection of resins into the cavity. While the molds are more expensive, resin transfer molding offers higher laminate strengths than can generally be obtained with cold molding.
Vacuum Infusion Molding uses a vacuum operation in conjunction with a custom-made plastic bag that is placed over the laminate, making it possible to obtain a greater high-fiber, high-laminate strength.
Low Pressure SMC is a method using a semi-processed fiberglass reinforced resin matrix. This material is molded in heated matched metal molds.
Because McClarin Plastics offers a variety of molding techniques, supported by the latest equipment and design technology, you will find that we can provide you with creative solutions for meeting your volume, performance and cost objectives. We look forward to finding the right solution for your production needs. Please call us for further information.