Epoxy Plastic Injection
Epoxy simulations are available for most
types of industry standard plastics.
The use of Epoxy's to simulate plastics allow for short run parts to be made economically. Whilst the epoxies themselves are more expensive than the equivalent standard plastic the advantage comes in the mould technology.
Typically plastic injection takes place under many tonnes of pressure into aluminium of cast steel mould tooling of many separate parts held in a high pressure clamping and injecting machine.
Suitable for high production runs these machines are designed to turn out lots of identical parts. Changing tooling and setting up a new part run can take from many hours to days.
This is where the epoxy system has the advantage. For the smallest of parts a silicone mould, simply wrapped in tape to keep it together can make many parts, whilst it can't make 1 every second it can make 1 every minute, and if you only need 10, 20 100 then the saving on the tooling will more than cover the cost of labour and the increased material cost. Not forgetting that owners of large machines probably will not entertain orders less than 100,000. For large parts such as wheel arch liners or bumpers moulds can be made in GRP and bolted together, it is even possible to take a GRP bumper and use it to make the inner and outer moulds required to produce plastic bumpers.
Standard Plastics Range
The mainstay and base type of epoxy plastic, FastCast 52 has a good impact strength suitable for mirror covers.
RenPim 5217 is a good ABS type epoxy, a fast gel time and cure rate give quick parts per minutes ratio.
RenPim 5216 has the same base as 5217 but a different curing compound giving a different cure ratio.
As with the 5216 above this is a different cure time and a slightly different chemical property.
As the name suggests a clear epoxy for light units and covers can be tinted with a range of colours.
An epoxy that has good tensile strength it works well for supporting structures such as a mirror mount.
This Epoxy can be added to with frothing agents to produce light weigh, almost foam like parts ideal for headlining's and other trim parts.
All epoxies can be added to, changing the chemical structure, we can then heat treat the parts to produce a different mechanical structure as well further modify the parts potential uses.
Examples of Use's
Ideal for short run specials, ABS or PPE
From Wheel arch liners to Bonnets
Door Mirror's and Door Handles
Small parts like Headlight Adjusters
Air vents to Door Trims
Fishing Floats to Road Sign's
Throttle arms to Air Filter Housings
Bespoke door handles, even Chrome plated.
Pipe Clips and Wiring Blocks
Examples of Parts and Moulds
- Epoxy Air Vent Cover
This small air vent cover was Rapid Prototyped initially in our Stratasys FDM machine then moulded in left and right versions 500 made.
- Silicone Air vent Cover Mould
A lightweight mould, simply bound by tape, to hold in the material a small amount of flashing needs to be cleaned from the moulded part.
- Epoxy Diffuser Strake
The plastic diffuser strake has been very popular. The advantage of the plastic when hit by kerbs on the track it wears or bends and doesn't break
- Silicone Diffuser Strake mould
As the Diffuser strake is a simple shape Silicone was again used for the mould, and held by tape during the injection process.
- Epoxy Dashboard trim
This dashboard trim needed a high surface finish and a complex shape including lugs to hold in the other parts required to finish it.
- GRP and Silicone Dashboard Mould
To keep the surface finish we used a GRP outer and a Silicone inner allowing for the lugs to form and be removed from the mould.
- Epoxy Door Mirror
A far more detailed part, but made in a lower grade of plastic for cost reasons, offer easy manufacturing.
- Wood - Silicone Door Mirror MouldAs this part required a mould to be made in 9 pieces a wooden box and steel supports are required to hold it all together.