CIECH Sarzyna extends its offer in the plastics segment with an innovative technology that uses silicone membranes in the vacuum infusion process. A re-usable diaphragm, made of silicone, allows the replacement of disposable infusion foil and a range of other materials. Such a solution facilitates and accelerates the process of composite production using the infusion method, which is the cheapest production method among all closed mould technologies.
CIECH Sarzyna, which belongs to the international chemical CIECH Group, is the main domestic producer of resins, present on the European markets. The Company - together with the British company, Alan Harper Composites Ltd., specialising in closed forming processes - presented this innovative technology using silicone membranes in the vacuum infusion process, at the Composite Expo 2017 Fair.
As a Group, we see enormous potential in developing the business of resins at CIECH Sarzyna. In order to improve its profitability, we had to set directions for product development. We focus, among other things, on strong specialisation, implementing the optimisation programme within the current product portfolio and we select, for development, new, high-margin specialist products with applications for the transport, construction and consumer goods industries - says Marcin Ślęzak, Head of the CIECH Sarzyna "Resin" Business Unit and Member of the Management Board.
The vacuum infusion process is an advanced technology used in the production of composites. It enables the production of very precise and durable composites, as used in the construction of structural elements, including airplanes, yachts, windmills and the automotive industry.
The technology of silicone membranes often consists in replacing a disposable infusion foil and a number of other materials, with one reusable membrane made of silicone, dedicated to a given mould. As a result, silicone membranes facilitate and accelerate the process of composite production using the infusion method, which is the cheapest production method among all closed mould technologies. Importantly, the technology presented by CIECH Sarzyna simultaneously provides all the benefits of vacuum infusion technology.
The most important advantages of the technology using silicone membranes in the vacuum infusion process chiefly include, the acceleration of production and even a threefold reduction of ever increasing labour costs. This technology requires relatively small investment outlay and minor modification to the moulds; it also ensures independence with regard to the employment of qualified staff of which there is a dearth in the labour market.
It is worth noting that one silicone diaphragm can be used for up to 500 mouldings. With such relatively low investment costs, the return on investment will be at a level of 2 to 20 mouldings, depending on current labour costs, and the size and complexity of the form.
In addition, “the technology of silicone membranes, in comparison with manual lamination, speeds up production up to three times faster or, in comparison with ‘foil’ infusion, two times faster” - says Eryk Ciężyński from CIECH Sarzyna.