Large parts don’t have to be heavy parts. Just ask Romeo RIM.
As its Harvester Roof demonstrates, Romeo RIM’s Long Fiber Injection (LFI) technology offers manufacturers and designers a wide breadth of options including very large, yet lightweight, parts that Romeo RIM believes are not currently possible through other common manufacturing processes. Romeo RIM LFI technology also allows designers to decorate parts inside the mold using a polyurethane elastomer skin, two-component polyurethane paints, films, fabric or vinyl skins.
Romeo RIM’s Harvester Vehicle Roof, Class A, in-mold decorated, glass-reinforced polyurethane part is on the shortlist for the 2013 Center for the Polyurethanes Industry’s (CPI) Innovation Award. The award recognizes companies and individuals whose vision and perseverance bring new products, technologies and initiatives to the marketplace. A winner will be announced during the 2013 Polyurethanes Technical Conference.
The Harvester Roof is produced using Romeo RIM’s LFI technology and a custom polyurethane system from Bayer MaterialScience LLC. The Harvester Roof is produced on Romeo RIM’s recently installed LFI press, which Romeo RIM considers to be the largest in North America.
LFI is a manufacturing process that combines a custom polyurethane resin system with long glass strands to mold a lightweight structural part. Due to the glass concentration, Class A surface finishes were not feasible through the LFI process in the past. After three years of development, Romeo RIM has commercialized an LFI process that incorporates in-mold painting or decorating to produce a part sporting the sought-after Class A finish.
An efficient solution to the industry’s continuous search for lighter weight materials, Romeo RIM’s improved LFI system produces the Harvester Roof with similar mechanical properties to SMC, but less than half (45 percent) of SMC’s weight, according to Romeo RIM. The molder also notes that producing an in-mold coated Class A part offers another important advantage – the ability to reduce the total part cost by 20 percent over parts that are first molded then coated with traditional topcoat systems.
“We are honored to be named a finalist for the CPI Polyurethane Innovation Award,” said Matt Getty, business unit manager, Consumer Products, Romeo RIM, Inc. “We believe this component clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when the inherent versatility of polyurethane chemistry and process technology come together in an innovative way.”
Founded in 1982, Romeo RIM is one of the leading processors of reaction injection molding (RIM) technology in North America. The company’s initial product technology is known as the HELP® (High Energy Level Polymer) energy absorbing bumper system built for buses in the Unites States and Canadian transit markets. Since then, Romeo RIM has expanded its RIM technology capabilities and commitment to the commercialization of innovative composite technologies as demonstrated by their early adoption of in-mold coatings, dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and LFI technology. The main markets serviced include the mass transit, agricultural, construction, heavy truck, automotive, and leisure industries. Romeo RIM is dedicated to a continued emphasis on the development of innovative product offerings and processes that provide technically advanced, engineered solutions which strengthen, protect and enhance the appearance and performance of our customers’ products.