Vacuum Infusion (VI)
DESIGN - ENGINEER - master - mould - manufacture
Very high fibre fractions are achievable – in conjunction with high performance fabrics and resins this enables the production of parts that approach the performance of pre preg items.
In some instances VI parts can outperform similar pre preg parts because of the easier availability of tailored performance resins & fabrics.
Low processing temps allow the use of cheaper tooling – this is particularly significant for short production runs where the cost of tooling is a major part of the cost of the finished item. High temperature performance of finished parts can be achieved with post demould curing.
Using dry fabrics provides a huge choice of 'off the shelf' materials when designing layups. Similarly a large range of resins with different specific properties are available 'off the shelf'.
VI delivers a microscopically thin unbroken resin film on the mould facing surface of the part giving a very high quality of finish – ideal for carbon car parts.
MAINTAINING FINISH OVER A PRODUCTION RUN
VI is very kind to moulds maintaining a high standard of finish over their lifetime.
Mould life is greatly extended over traditional pre preg processes.
PROCESSING HEAVY LAYUPS
There is no top limit to the weight of a fibre thickness that can be layed up and infused in a single shot – this is a strong advantage for large mouldings when compared to traditional pre pregs which need debulking after every few layers.
PROCESSING CORED LAYUPS
Cored layups can be processed in a single shot.
VI is a very simple process in principal – dry fabric is placed in a mould and bagged up
- resin is then injected through the fabric driven by atmospheric pressure -
when the resin is cured, the part is demoulded.
Designing a part for VI must include careful consideration of the process,
as well as the part,
inorder to achieve consistent quality and performance over a production run.