High productivity manufacturing process of composite parts based on zero emissions fast curing coatings and heated moulds
Ecogel Cronos will develop new techniques to deliver an eco-friendly and innovative coating for composite parts, with the aim of eliminating the styrene emissions normally associated with the gel-coating process.
The new Ecogel Cronos coating process will deliver improved production performance through increased finish quality, along with a dramatic reduction of associated operational costs.
In a similar manner in which the automotive painting industry changed in the 1950s replacing liquid paints with dry powders, the liquid gel coats currently used in the composites industry may be superseded with a proper dry powder technology.
The Ecogel Cronos project will provide the tools, processes and technology to implement this novel material into real production of composite parts.
The combination of the project's developments in efficiently heated tools, mould design and reinforced pre-forms with the new eco-friendly coating will provide an excellent platform to modernise current composite material manufacturing technologies.
» Up to 25% reduction in production costs
» Near 30% reduction in raw material consumption
» 80% reduction in styrene VOCs emissions, and hazardous catalysers during gel coat application and 20% during fibre confirmation
» At least 4 x shelf life for raw materials
» Near 70% reduction in weight of effective gel coat layer
» Increased production rates through out-of-mould preparation of gel coat skin
» Easier compliance through reduced requirement for extraction and ventilation equipment
» Optimization of stock levels through easier storage and handling of raw materials
» Drastic reduction in curing times
» Extension of tool working life through lack of solvents in powder gel coat