COMPOSITE FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION

Our patented clip & fixing process allows for a fresh and cost effective approach to complex “B” surface features. Features normally added in a separate operation, such as clips, inserts or threaded fasteners are moulded directly on to the back of high quality composite interior or exterior panels. We produce a more cost-effective component with this method due to total inclusion of all fixing points and no additional bonding or machining qualification. We also reduce the initial tooling outlay with the ability to multi-tool to achieve volume aspiration.

THE PROCESS

Back-injection moulding adds moulded plastic features onto the back surface of carbon composite parts eliminating the need for conventional bonding of clips, fasteners, threaded inserts and hinges. It provides easier, more robust assembly with lower costs while maintaining a high quality exterior finish.

RIM

It is a reaction moulding process (RIM) that, unlike conventional injection moulding, requires no heating of the tool. The mould tooling is made from polyurethane material, specifically chosen for its ease of working, speed of machining and convenience of handling, that is readily compatible with the low reaction temperatures generated (below 100°C).

PRE-FITMENT OF FASTENERS

Prior to injection, the carbon composite part and any additional inserts or fasteners are located in the mould to ensure correct orientation. A patented process is used to prepare the back of the composite to ensure secure bonding. Once the mould is closed, the injection process is completed within cycle times typical of a normal injection moulded part. The material injected is typically a two-part polyurethane resin, which may be glass or carbon filled to meet specific load requirements.

IMPROVED DIMENSIONAL ACCURACY

By moulding onto the finished composite, the process combines the premium visual properties of carbon composite with the convenience of an injection-moulded plastic part, at a much lower tooling cost. Adding the more complicated features by moulding also means the visual parts can be made using more efficient production methods such as press moulding. The improved dimensional consistency from the automated process permits additional automation during downstream manufacturing operations, such as trimming.

INTERCHANGEABLE

Composite parts with back-injection are dimensionally interchangeable with non-composite parts, allowing manufacturers to produce limited edition variants of existing models by substituting surface panels without making changes to the underlying mountings.

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Registered office: Prodrive Holdings Limited, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 4XD
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