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Manufacturing Process

Lecturer: Dr. Siti Rabiatull Aisha Idris

Phone: 09-4246349




Lesson Objectives:
After todays lecture, students should be able to:
Differentiate the process of:
A. Processing Reinforced Plastics
B. Processing Metal-matrix Composite

Analyze the design considerations for plastics

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A. Processing Elastomers
Commonly shaped by extrusion or injection
Extruded parts such as tubing, hoses & inner
Injection-moulded parts mostly used for
Also can be shaped by blow moulding &

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B. Calendering
For rubber & some thermoplastic sheet.
A warm mass of the compound is fed into a
series of rolls and then stripped off in the form
of a sheet.
Sheets produced are subsequently used in

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B. Calendering cont

Schematic illustration of calendering. Sheets produced by this process

subsequently are used in thermoforming. The process also is used in
the production of various elastomer and rubber products.
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C. Dipping
Discrete rubber
product likes
Metal form
repeatedly dipped
into a liquid

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A. Processing Reinforced Plastics

To obtain good bonding between the reinforcing
fibers and the polymer matrix, fibers surface treated
by impregnation (sizing).
Short fibers added to thermoplastics for Injection
Long fibers used in the compression moulding.
Partially cured sheets called by various terms such as;
1. Prepregs
2. Sheet moulding compound (SMC)
3. Bulk moulding compound (BMC)
4. Thick moulding compound (TMC)

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A. Processing Reinforced Plastics (cont.)

1. Prepregs
The continuous fibers aligned.
Through surface treatment to enhance
adhesion to the matrix.
Individual sheet combined into laminated
Typical products from prepreg are panels
for construction and electrical insulation.

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Tapes used in Making

Reinforced Plastic Parts


(a) Manufacturing process for polymer-matrix composite tape. (b) Boron-epoxy prepreg
tape. These tapes are then used in making reinforced plastic parts and components with
high strength-to-weight ratios, particularly important for aircraft and aerospace applications
and sports equipment.
Source: (a) Courtesy of T. W. Chou, R. L. McCullough, and R. B. Pipes. (b) Courtesy of Avco Specialty Materials/Textron.

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Tape and Tape-Laying System



(a) Single-ply layup of boron-epoxy tape for the horizontal stabilizer for an F-14 fighter aircraft.
(b) A 10-axis computer-numerical-controlled tape-laying system. This machine is capable of
laying up 75- and 150-mm (3- and 6-in.) wide tapes on contours of up to +/- 30 degrees and at
speeds of up to 0.5m/s (1.7 ft/s).
Source: (a) Courtesy of Grumman Aircraft Corporation. (b) Courtesy of The Ingersoll Milling Machine Company.

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A. Processing Reinforced Plastics (cont.)

Forms of fibreglass (a) continuous strand roving (b) chopped

strand (c) chopped strand mat (d) woven roving
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Production of Fiber-Reinforced Plastic


Schematic illustration of the manufacturing process for producing fiber-reinforced plastic sheets.
The sheet still is viscous at this stage and later can be shaped into various products.
Source: After T. W. Chou, R. L. McCullough, and R. B. Pipes.

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A. Processing Reinforced Plastics

2. Sheet moulding compound (SMC)
Chopped fibers deposited in random directions
over a layer of resin paste.
Second layer of resin paste is deposited on top,
then pressed between rollers.

3. Bulk moulding compound (BMC)

The compounds are in the shape of billets

4. Thick moulding compound (TMC)

Combines a characteristics of lower cost BMC
& higher strengh SMC
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Moulding of Reinforced Plastics

Common moulding processes for reinforced
plastics are;
1. Compression moulding

Material placed between two moulds and pressure is


2. Vacuum-bag moulding/Pressure

Prepregs are laid in the mould

Pressure to shape the product obtained by covering the
lay-up with a plastic bag and creating a vacuum

3. Contact moulding (Open mould processing)

Used in making products with high surface-area-tothickness ratios.
Use a single male or female mould.
Can be done by hand lay-up or spray lay-up.
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Vacuum-Bag Forming and PressureBag Forming

Schematic illustration of (a) vacuum-bag forming, and (b) pressure-bag

forming. These processes are used in making discrete reinforced plastic
Source: After T. H. Meister. Page 16
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Open-Mold Processing

Manual methods of processing reinforced

plastics: (a) hand lay-up, and (b) spray lay-up.
Note that, even though the process is slow,
only one mold is required. The figures show a
female mold, but male molds also are used.
These methods also are called open-mold
processing. (c) A boat hull made by these
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A. Processing Reinforced Plastics

Some other processes for reinforced plastics are:
1. Filament Winding
Resin and fibers are combined at the time of curing
Parts are formed on a rotating mandrel
The reinforcing filament, tape is wrapped continuously
around the mandrel.
Products example: pressure vessel, propellers, blades

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(a) Schematic illustration of the filament-winding process; (b) fiberglass being

wound over aluminum liners for slide-raft inflation vessels for the Boeing 767
aircraft. The products made by this process have high strength-to-weight ratio and
also serve as lightweight pressure vessels.

Source: Courtesy of Brunswick Corporation

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Processing Reinforced Plastics (cont.)

2. Pultrusion
Produces long parts with various uniform crosssection such as rod, flat strips and tubing.
Continuous reinforcement is supplied through
bobbins (prepreg feed system)
The bundle is mixed with a thermosetting bath
then a performing die and a heated steel die.
The product is cured then.

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(a) Schematic illustration of the pultrusion process. (b) Examples of parts

made by pultrusion. The major components of fiberglass ladders (used
especially by electricians) are made by this process. Unlike aluminum
ladders, they are available in different colors but are heavier because of the
presence of glass fibers.

Source: Courtesy of Strongwell Corporation

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B. Processing Metal-matrix Composite

Metal matrix-composite can be made by the
following processes:
1. Liquid-phase processing
Casting involving liquid-matrix material (aluminium,
titanium) and solid reinfoircement (graphite, SiC, Al2O3)

2. Solid-phase processing
Powder-metallurgy techniques including cold and hot
isostatic pressing.
Products examples, tungsten-carbide tools and dies with
cobalt as the matrix.

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Design consideration


Design Considerations of plastics

Considerations for product design:
Material selection to meet product requirements
Product without stress concentration, sink marks,
Position of gate, runner, ejection pin for tool
Elimination of premature failures based on
literature reviews.

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Design Considerations of plastics (cont.)

Considerations for tool design:
Tool material for manufacturing volume and life
Tonnage of press & number of cavities in a tool
Position of gate, runner, ejection pin for tool
design, ...

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Design Modifications to Minimize Distortion in

Plastic Parts

Examples of design modifications to eliminate or minimize distortion in plastic parts:

(a) suggested design changes to minimize distortion; (b) stiffening the bottoms of
thin plastic containers by doming a technique similar to the process used to shape
the bottoms of aluminum beverage cans; and (c) design change in a rib to minimize
pull-in (sink mark) caused by shrinkage during the cooling of thick sections in
molded parts.
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Example of Design Considerations

for Plastics Processing
Avoid sharp variation of wall thickness
Avoid sharp corners

Example of Design Considerations

for Plastics Processing
Provide generous draft angles, 5o or more
Avoid needs of side-pull (reading assignment)



Example of Design Considerations

for Plastics Processing
Core bosses to ensure uniform thickness (minimize impact of
variable shrinkage)

Any questions??