Rapid Product Development – FRP

Design and Development - Comments Off - Posted on April, 6 at 3:43 pm

FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) is a well established and proven technology used to produce large accurate panels that are both light and tough. FRP panels have an exceptional surface finish excellent for applications with cosmetic requirements on a single side. Utilizing FRP technology allows you to quickly produce short-run production panels to get your product to market faster.

This process is ideally suited for geometries with large, sweeping curved surfaces. FRP has been used for prototyping sizable rigid panels for automotive, bus, truck, heavy equipment, and small construction equipment applications. It’s also well suited for cosmetic panels found on large medical equipment such as MRI and CT scanning machines.

FRP panels are created in a multi-step process. First, a single-sided mold (layup tool) is created for the part at hand. The layup tool is coated with an epoxy gel-coat, providing a cosmetic surface for the A-side (front) of the part. Next, alternating layers of fiberglass and laminating resin (uniquely formulated UL94V0 Epoxy) are applied in a custom schedule suitable for customer requirements. Each layer of fiberglass and resin is skillfully applied by hand using brushes and special rollers. The non-cosmetic B-side (or back) of the geometry often requires brackets, hinges, boss clusters and/or other hardware. Solid Concepts utilizes a proprietary fixturing system that uniquely allows for the precise placement of any B-side hardware, resulting in a tighter fitting assembly with consistent and level reveals.

Although typical application for FRP includes large cosmetic prototype panels for automotive, agricultural, construction and medical industries, the 2009 introduction of UL94V0 fire retardant materials has enticed other industries to turn to FRP.

source: www.solidconcepts.com

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