Last week, during SAMPE Japan, ADEKA Corporation, a material manufacturer of chemical and food products, and GH Craft Ltd., the Teijin Group’s composite structure design, development and evaluation unit, announced that they have jointly developed the world’s first fiber-to-composite (FtoC) molding process to laminate FRP composites in open molds. During the show, ADEKA and GH Craft unveiled CFRP samples made with their new process.

As Teijin explained in a press release, the FtoC Molding Process automates resin impregnating, curing and laminating processes while aligning highly oriented fibers. A new rapid-curing epoxy resin developed by ADEKA enables FRP to be cured in just tens of seconds with GH Craft’s new molding process using infrared radiation.

Teijin says large-scale equipment such as curing ovens and press molds are not needed for the process because the FRP can be laminated in an open mold. Additionally, compared to conventional composite production, Teijin claims the FtoC molding process considerably reduces fiber waste by directly molding fibers to the composite without requiring intermediate steps. By extending and orienting fibers, the partners say the process produces GFRP that offers significantly improved performance, including 100 percent more bending strength, 40 percent more tensile strength and 75 percent more interlayer shear strength compared to conventional GFRP made with conventional resin transfer molding.

Going forward, ADEKA will develop lineups of specialized resins for the FtoC molding process and GH Craft will develop practical applications. ADEKA and GH Craft will jointly verify the effectiveness of the FtoC molding process through the manufacture of practical products. The companies aim to jointly create a new composite market sector by working to establish the FtoC molding process as a de facto standard for FRP production.