The use of press prepregs has spread in the last years and has become a valid alternative for structural parts high volume production. This class of carbon/epoxy prepregs is engineered to be processed in a closed mould under high pressure, with extremely low curing times. A fully cured composite part can be obtained in a time ranging from less than 2 to 10 minutes, mainly depending on the part thickness. The process simply involves the introduction of the input material within a heated mould, where the material cures under the action of temperature and pressure (up to 80-100 bar).
Features and advantages
High performance structural parts (up to 70% FVF) can be produced with this technology with cycle times that can be as low as 2 minutes. In order to minimize cycle time, preforming is often necessary.
It is also possible to combine this material with carbon-based SMC, in order to add geometrically complex details such as ribs, joints and couplings.