Carbon fiber is a vital synthetic material that’s important for many different manufacturing industries. With the ability to significantly strengthen products while also being lightweight, this luxury material sees a lot of use within the aerospace, military, and even medical industries.
The carbon fiber market was valued at $2.6 billion in 2019 and is estimated to rise to as high as $3.5 billion. This is because of the various properties that make it great for manufacturing parts.
Creating and distributing carbon fiber can be lucrative. In order to adopt this material, you need to learn how to mold carbon fiber to create parts that fit your project. Here’s a brief look at some of the molding processes.
Compression molding is one of the fastest, most efficient ways to mold carbon fiber into various shapes. When you use compression molding, you first place the carbon fiber prepreg between an upper and lower mold.
Then, the mold is placed on a hydraulic table, using high pressure and temperature to cure the resin and set the carbon fiber to a certain shape.
Molding carbon fiber with compression molding is great for mass-producing these products, especially if you need those parts to be high-strength.
The issue with compression molding is that investing in the equipment is expensive. Plus, the size of the items you make is limited by the size of the hydraulic press you have. This means that you’re limited to smaller parts, such as brake pads for cars.
Resin Transfer Molding
This type of molding solution is much more cost-effective and was initially designed to help create load-bearing structural parts in planes. This means that the process can create strong carbon fiber parts, making it great for those in the aerospace industry.
When molding carbon fiber in this way, a reaction resin is poured to knot the semi-finished parts. Creating chemical reactions that enhance by applying pressure, results in a strong material that’s cheap and good for the environment.
Cast molding is a type of molding process that may be the most familiar to a layperson in this industry. To perform cast molding, heated material pours into the hollow cavity shaped of the desired part. Once poured, this liquid is left to cool and solidify, leaving the manufacturer with the finished process.
Once cooled, the product either ejects or breaks out of the cast. Therefore, used over and over again.
Learn More About How to Mold Carbon Fiber
The truth is that there are plenty of different methods that you can adopt to mold carbon fiber. Each has its benefits and ideal use case.
If you’re interested in carbon fiber products and want to know more about how to mold carbon fiber, you should learn more about our capabilities and how we do it.
We’re experts in composite materials, allowing us to create customized and effective solutions for you and your products.