Why use electron beam curing for reinforced plastics or composites?

With the different curing options out there, how do you know which one is best for your product? UV curing is a good method for surface treatments, however UV has limited penetration. Thermal curing may provide the answer for some thicker materials, however e-beam curing has several advantages over the thermal curing process:

  1. Lower energy consumption (as little as 10% of thermal cure), especially for large products.
  2. Faster cure time, and therefore higher processing rate.
  3. Curing occurs at ambient temperature, which greatly reduces internal stresses. This is beneficial for producing parts demanding high performance (such as low temperature applications).
  4. Large products can be accommodated that may not fit in an autoclave.
  5. Less complicated tooling and cheaper, temperature-sensitive tooling materials can be used.
  6. Easier handling—refrigeration is not necessary to store uncured resins.
  7. Better process control— the degree of curing at different product locations can be controlled precisely.
  8. Reduced VOC emissions because chemical thermoset agents are not required (typically a 90% reduction).

These advantages can provide an economic benefit to your process while also improving quality and homogeneity of your finished composites. Give us a call today to see how E-BEAM can help!

Reference: Radiation Processing of Polymer Materials and Its Industrial Applications, Rosato’s Plastics Dictionary


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