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Resin Technology from Henkel Brings Composite Tooling to Perfection

Published on 2011-03-28. Author : SpecialChem

New methods and products for the fabrication of composite parts lead to easier and cost-efficient production processes as well as to higher end product performance. For its innovative benzoxazine prepreg resin used for a new composite tooling material, Henkel and its partner Airtech Europe were selected as a JEC Innovation Award finalist.

With the increased use of composite parts in almost all industries, there is a need to use more and larger composite tools. Current materials used are typically epoxy or bismaleimide (BMI) matrix composites. While these have demonstrated effective use of composites, both have disadvantages for large and high rate tools, for instance lacking stability at high temperatures or high moisture absorption. In cooperation with Airtech, Henkel has developed a resin technology which offers the solution to these and more difficulties.

Henkel Benzoxazine Resins with superior process performance

Henkel and Airtech worked closely to define the resin system requirements for an improved tooling pre-impregnated fiber - prepreg for short: The new composite tooling material using Henkel Benzoxazine Resin is designed for repeated cures at 185°C while maintaining good dimensional stability and vacuum integrity. Thanks to the characteristics of the Henkel Benzoxazine Resin, the prepregs are stable at ambient temperatures, and have a lower exotherm during the curing process which enables shorter cure cycles to be used for manufacture of thick tools without special precautions.

Successful launch of new tooling prepreg

In aircraft engineering, there is an ongoing trend toward lightweight construction. Accordingly, the new tooling prepreg was very well received by the industry. For instance GKN Munich - a leading global supplier to the world's automotive, off-highway and aerospace industry - has quickly adopted the Beta prepreg as a tooling solution for stringer tooling on Airbus A350. The requirement was for a composite tooling system which would be easily machined on the non-moulded face and would provide long high temperature service life. Beta Prepreg meets those requirements and delivers additional benefits of reduced shrinkage, also greater ease and reduces cost of manufacture when compared to BMI tooling prepregs.

Henkel and partners selected as 2011 JEC Innovation Award finalist

With their advanced resin technology for composite materials, Henkel and its partners Airtech Europe and GKN Aerospace Germany were selected as finalist in the aerospace category of the 2011 JEC Innovation Award. With two international composites tradeshows in Europe and Asia, JEC is a composites network with 250,000 professionals from all over the world. The innovative benzoxazine resin technology will be on display in the Innovation Award Area the JEC 2011.

About Henkel

Henkel operates worldwide with leading brands and technologies in three business areas: Laundry & Home Care, Cosmetics/Toiletries and Adhesive Technologies. Founded in 1876, Henkel holds globally leading market positions both in the consumer and industrial businesses with well-known brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite. Henkel employs about 48,000 people and reported sales of 15,092 million euros and adjusted operating profit of 1,862 million euros in fiscal 2010. Henkel's preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX and the company ranks among the Fortune Global 500.

Source: Henkel

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