Product Announcement from Osborne Industries, Inc.
We recently used our pDCPD reaction injection molding expertise to assist a customer looking for alternatives to the sheet metal hoods on boring machines used in the construction industry.
The wet conditions on many construction boring jobs led to excessive rust on the steel hoods, while the rugged environment dented and damaged the sheet metal. pDCPD, as opposed to steel, offers excellent chemical and corrosion resistance, as well as outstanding impact resistance.
These characteristics made the engineered thermoset polymer the perfect replacement for sheet metal.
Also known as Polydicyclopentadiene, pDCPD provided other advantages, as well, including improved worker safety, due to:
- Lighter, easier to lift parts compared to their sheet metal counterparts
- Fewer handling injuries because pDCPD allows for ergonomically and user friendly molded part edges when compared to the sharp edges created by thin sheet metal
The part conversion provided additional advantages for our customer because we manufactured the hoods using reaction injection molding, a thermoset molding process offering inherent benefits that enable part consolidation when converting from sheet metal to plastic.
These benefits include:
- Polymer chains that act as strengthening backbones in the molded product
- Mold-in inserts
- Decreased energy usage and tooling
For instance, using RIM to manufacture the hoods allowed us to incorporate brackets and a part stiffener into the design, creating a one-piece - rather than the original eight-piece - hood. RIM also eliminated the need for the costly fabrication and assembly required for the sheet metal hood. This, in turn, allowed for lower labor costs and faster post-tooling production times for the pDCPD hood.
In the end, this metal-to-plastic conversion not only met our customer's stated need for a more durable hood but also exceeded the company's expectations by creating a unified part that provided better worker safety and faster production times - all thanks to pDCPD and reaction injection molding.