RESIN TRANSFER MOULDING (RTM)
We have extensive experience in Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) - a closed-mould process for manufacturing high repeatability composite components in medium volumes.
Jackson has been manufacturing components using RTM technology for over 30 years and has been consistently improving the process over this time. We now build parts using Light Resign Transfer Moulding (LRTM) for a wide variety of uses including enclosures for our Jackson LIFEGUARD® range. Jackson can be involved with all elements from part design to part production including the production of high quality moulds built using either composite materials or direct machined metallic tools for the ultimate in accuracy, longevity and production throughput (see Mould Making).
The basic RTM process involves loading a dry fibreglass preform into a cavity (or A-side) mould before inserting the core (or B-side) mould. Once the mould is closed and clamped tight with the aid of vacuum, resin is pumped into the tool cavity to thoroughly wet-out the fibres. The tool may then be heated to assist with the curing of the resin. Once the resin is cured, the tool can be opened and the part removed.
Parts produced in this way have several benefits over typical open-moulding or vacuum bagged parts. The primary benefit being the part now has a moulded face on both sides which allows for easy mounting of components and gives an aesthetic finish – great for boat hatches or other places where the part is seen on both sides. Parts are also have very consistent thickness and weight.
Our clean, modern LRTM production line is set up primarily for internal mouldings, with the electrical side of the business being the main customer to both our moulding and tool making operations. Typical tool envelopes are 1-2m2 area, producing 4 to 5 parts per tool per day from “Low-Profile Tooling”. To give an idea of longevity of production tooling, some of our legacy low-profile tools have now produced in excess of 18,000 parts. Contract moulding is also done in this facility, and is offered as a service in itself to clients.
Take a look at the LIFEGUARD® Case Study for an example of our work in Resin Transfer Moulding.