Thermoset materials exhibit excellent physical properti […]
Thermoset materials exhibit excellent physical properties when molded. Compression molding is the most common choice for high-volume composite parts, usually associated with SMC (Sheet moulding compounds) and BMC (Bulk moulding compounds) materials. Structural parts molded from BMC or SMC can be a good substitute for metal products and provide significant weight savings without sacrificing strength. Excellent heat resistance, compressive strength and dimensional stability are all advantages of compression molded thermosets.
What is the SMC compression molding process?
Compression molding of SMC is a thermoforming process that produces high-strength, complex parts in a variety of sizes. The SMC material is converted into a molded shape by placing it in an open mold cavity and then closing the mold, applying up to 2,000 psi of pressure and temperature. Cycle time is approximately 1-5 minutes, depending on SMC part size and thickness. Molded SMC parts are characterized by accurate size and shape, excellent finished surfaces, and very low cost of finishing.
SMC materials cure through irreversible chemical reactions under heat and pressure. The result of this reaction is a highly cross-linked molecular structure that retains its properties at high temperatures.