Tapes suitable for Composite Moulding

ABI Tapes for composite moulding

The automotive, aerospace, yachting and wind energy industries demand lightweight, stronger, corrosion resistant and durable materials. Composite material satisfies these high standards and the demand continues to grow.

To manufacture high-end reinforced plastic composite parts, a variety of pressure sensitive tapes is required. Whether the baking and curing process takes place in- or out of autoclave oven, quality high temperature and pressure resistant tapes are indispensable.

ABI Tape has a rich history and excellent reputation developing and manufacturing polyester (PET) tapes and polyimide (PI) tapes for high-end applications. Today, we supply the top 3 composite material suppliers with our tapes.  

Composite application by industry

Aerospace & Aviation


To produce structural and hot section parts, flight-critical components, heat shielding, space blankets, ascent and descent engine protection etc...

Automotive


For the production of composite parts like battery trays, car body for race cars, A/B/C pillars, bulkheads, hoods, inner door panels, mirror housings, …

Wind energy


To produce composite parts like rotor blades, masts, radar arches, bearings walls, intermediate supports, …


Yachting


To produce composite parts like radar arches, cabin parts, masts, parts of the hull, bearing walls, shower trays & baths, doors, flybridges, …

Long history of composite moulding tapes

ABI Tape has 100+ years of experience in developing, coating and selling polyester silicone tapes from our coating plant in Massachusetts, USA. So this tape, was already around before the resin composite process was developed in the 1930’s. It turned out that these polyester tapes were very suitable as a holding down tape in the composite curing process. And even today, this still holds true. Even though this tape is useful in many other applications, composite moulding is the most popular application.
Need a composite moulding tape?

Do you need a middle of the road or a specialty - ABI Tape has a right product. Our team will help you to find a perfect match.
 

Composite moulding tapes in action


to mask bond lines to remove the resin overage often referred to as “flash”
 


to protect the different films and moulding parts
 


to hold down the vacuum bag and composite moulding films
 

Three types of composite moulding processes

Autoclave composite products moulding

In this process, a two-sided mould that forms both surfaces of the panel is being used. The lower side is a rigid mould whereas the upper side would be made out of a flexible membrane, e.g. a silicone or a nylon film. The assembly (upper and lower mould, reinforcement materials such as continuous fibre forms and the resin) are placed into an autoclave and vacuum is applied to the mould cavity. This process is generally performed at both elevated pressure and elevated temperature. The use of elevated pressure facilitates a high fibre volume fraction and low void content for maximum structural efficiency.

Out-of-Autoclave (OOA) composite plastics manufacturing

Out-of-Autoclave (OOA) processing is appropriate for complex parts manufacturing on an on-going basis. OOA curing achieves the desired fiber content and elimination of voids by placing the layup within a closed mold and applying vacuum, pressure, and heat by means other than an autoclave. A press is the typical method of applying heat and pressure to the closed mold. Out-of-Autoclave is less capital-intensive and less costly, especially as parts increase in size and number whereas autoclaves tend to be less economical for small quantity curing jobs.

Out-of-Oven (OOO) composite products manufacturing

The OOO curing significantly reduces energy consumption, time and production costs as compared to (out of) autoclave while maintaining the physical and mechanical properties of OoO-cured composite products. This process technique is mainly used within high volume, high performance sectors.

Tape shapes or ShapeRite

Die-Cutting is a manufacturing process where large quantities of identical shapes (“die-cuts”) are quickly stamped from a tape. Depending on the needed criteria, we perform the die-cutting on specialized machinery using a custom made die that consists of sharp blades, formed into the desired shape and mounted onto the most appropriate machine for your application.

Careful planning & designing allows to optimize the number of identical shapes on the tape to achieve the maximum quantity of usable die-cuts. The process allows for the fast generation of uniform products to be used in mass production capacities. Almost any shape or size may be cut from the tape. This may result in individual loose pieces or cut pieces attached to a roll of release paper or other tape material.

The material is as long and diverse as the tapes we produce: PE, PET, PI, Foam, Glass fiber/cloth, Aluminum foil, FSK (Foil/Scrim/Kraft), Paper.

Die-cuts are, amongst other, used to protect sensitive parts of the mould and tape and/or to give specific shapes and reliefs to the composite parts.

OTHER TAPES RELEVANT FOR COMPOSITE MOULDING PROCESSES

You may want to contact us should you be interested in more specialized tapes, for example:
  • mould release tapes: composite moulding tapes can have a lower coefficient of friction (COF) than silicone parts. Because of this lower COF, the tape will remove from the mold much more easily. Mainly for large parts and large molds this is of utmost importance. Such a tape is used to seal the inside of flat surface moulds. This type of tape can be used with caulking or mould release spray for an even easier mould removal.
  • indicator tapes: coloured composite moulding tapes are ment to provide a visual indicator, showing which portions of the mould are covered, thereby reducing the likelihood of the composite part sticking to the mold because they also function as mould protection and/or mould release tape.
  • mould protective tapes: is applied to mould surfaces after their use to remove any remaining surface moisture and to protect the mould against corrosion during storage. This allows the mould to remain in top condition whereas an easy removal ensures a quick start-up of the mould process.

ABI Tape references

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So, why choose ABI Tape composite moulding tapes

DEEP ASSORTMENT

  • We offer a range of tapes for a wide array of surfaces, temperatures and industry processes.

CUSTOM MADE TAPES

  • If you need a change the opacity, colour or thickness? We can provide products in a partnership way.

TAPE SHAPES

  • ABI Tape also produces die-cut shapes in roll or sheet format.


EXPERTISE

  • In-depth industry knowledge to propose the correct tape for the desired application & production process.