How Material Selection Impacts Composite Moulding Performance?
Composite materials have changed the way of moulding for a long time to come. Moulding the process of using different base materials for creating the products by melting them. Range of products that can be created using moulding is very high. Be it complex parts of the automotive industry or high strength parts of aerospace. And a large part of that goes to composite materials.
Composite materials are typically combinations created using different materials, in which one acts as a support structure. While the other provides desired strength to those materials. Generally used, the best mould material for casting resin is not a composite hence not able to provide that great strength. Composite moulding uses composite materials in manufacturing of the products.
You can build different products such as storage tanks, countertops, car bodies using composite material. But before doing that you have to be mindful about which composite material to choose for selection. Below we have researched some of the common composite materials for you. Along with that are some factors that can help you decide the perfect material.
Best mould material for casting: Resin, Polymer, and More
If moulding is the heart of the manufacturing industry and mould material is the blood that runs it. Moulding allows the manufacturers to create complex and high precision parts with ease. Allowing you to bring your dream products to life, moulding is one of the most loved methods by the industry. But there is one thing that decides the moulding, moulding materials.
Choosing the right material allows you to create with ultimate ease, enhanced strength, and reduce waste. There are different kinds of mould materials available for the use ranging from pure metals to complex material made specifically for it. While the perfect selection depends on the product your desire to create. Sometimes the best mould material for casting silicone is used while at different times others.
Types of Composite Materials for Moulding
Polymer Matrix Composites: Composites formed with the combination of polymers and fibres are called Polymer matrix composites. Here polymers provide the foundation, while fibres provide the strength to materials. The mechanical and chemical properties of the PMCs depend on the kind of polymer and fibre used.
Some of the most common PMCs known are polyurethane, amino resins, carbon steel, etc. PMCs are a popular solution for building high strength products in various industries such as aerospace, automotive etc.
Ceramic Matrix Composites: Any composite material consists of two types of materials one that provides the strength and the other one that provides the structure. Usually chosen to be different kinds, ceramic is an exception. Ceramic matrix composites use ceramic fibres along with ceramic matrix.
With higher strength and greater stability as compared to the traditional ceramics. These matrix composites are used in high pressure areas such as heat exchangers, immersion burner tubes, and turbine blades.
Metal Matrix Composites: Ever wondered what different metal is used for building critical parts of vehicles? It’s Metal matrix composites. A combination of metals such as magnesium, titanium when used with strengthening material such as carbon or even ceramic fibres is called metal matrix composites.
These materials are for building products that don’t wear and tear easily. Majorly known combinations of MMC are aluminium-boron, magnesium-graphite. Some of the very common produced products with them are tank armours, disc brakes, bicycle frames, and much more.
Factors Affecting Composite Moulding Material Selection
We know about the different kinds of materials after reading the above details. But is it enough? No. Every material cannot be used in every condition. You have to be very specific in your approach. While we cannot be there to help you make choices, we have below created a list of factors that you can use for moulding material selection:
Physical Characteristics of Composite Material: Composite materials are built for generating a desired strength in a material. If the material doesn’t meet the required strength, it can break down under pressure. While selecting the material take a broad look at its physical strength factors. Such as specific strength, tensile strength, shear strength, wear resistance, weight and density.
These factors can help you streamline your choice for the material. Creating a product that you want to see coming.
Heat Resistance: The ability of a material to resist heat for a longer time is called its heat resistance. Here the material doesn’t allow easy heat transfer inside it. Chemically, this is the ability of a material to resist oxidation in itself, limiting its degradation.
Heat resistant materials don’t get pressured by high temperatures during the manufacturing and moulding process. Limiting the damage, heat resistance is one of the top factors to be considered.
Consider your moulding process and then the temperature at which you are going to work on. Check if the material that you have chosen is heat resistant to that temperature and then make a choice.
Manufacturing Process Requirements: There are different versions of manufacturing processes out. Not every material will fit the requirements perfectly. Look at your manufacturing process when making choice of the materials. Is it melt moulding, compression moulding, or injection moulding?
Look at the method and then look at the properties of your composite material you have chosen. If these composite materials align with the choice made, you can use it. If not then change.
For example, Ceramic composite materials that can be used in injection moulding are Zirconia and Alumina. While polymer matrix composites are acetal homopolymers.
Mechanical Properties Required: Composite materials are used in a variety of different products. These products range from aerospace materials to the automotive industry. These applications make it important for us to look for materials that have high mechanical strength.
Strength, elasticity, hardness, toughness, ductility, cohesion and much more. Mechanical properties define how the material performs when sent against external pressure. Suggesting the amount of wear and tear material can take before being disturbed by the outside forces.
Knowing these properties can help you make a better choice for the products that don’t just have a long life. But can sustain the force during the production.
For example, Best mould material for casting silicone composite for creating products like rubbers and wax.
Environmental conditions: Composite materials are formed by a chemical combination. Environment can be a big factor in affecting the behaviour of these combinations. Moisture, thermal cycling, sunlight, and many different kinds of factors can disturb their behaviour. Not creating performance for what they were created.
The solution to this is the testing of these materials by exposing them to different environmental conditions. You can start with thermal testing them in different temperatures, load bearing, and expose them to fluids.
Composite material moulding is a new technology but its usage has been making noise for some time. Before that best mould material for casting resin was used and suggested for different purposes. Composite materials are more durable, have extra strength, and longer life.
When selecting the composite materials for your needs, look at their strength, resistance. At the same time also look at its usage conditions. It will help you find the right one for you.