A new joint venture between DuPont Co. and Hardcore Composites Ltd. is pushing commercial uses of Scrimp technology, a low-cost way to make very large, thick composite parts. Hardcore DuPont Composites, a limited liability company, moved into a 20,000-square-foot plant in New Castle, Del., in January. The company, which employs about 35, is expanding the building to 40,000 square feet.
Several projects in the works to use Scrimp - which stands for Seemann Composite Resin Infusion Molding Process - include railroad, civil infrastructure and marine products.
A marine fender system made by Hardcore Composites won an Award of Excellence for the development category during the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Composites Institute conference earlier this year. The large panels absorb energy when boats come into a dock.
The firm made fenders for the Delaware River and Bay Authority. The manufacturer said the composite fender weighs nearly 6,000 pounds less than a steel product of the same size, with superior performance. The fender uses Dow Plastics Derakane 411-350 epoxy vinyl ester resin.
Other Hardcore Composites projects include railroad car components and doors for Norfolk & Southern and Burlington Northern railroads, and an insulated boxcar for Burlington Northern.
Scrimp received attention during the Composites Institute conference Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Cincinnati.The U.S. government is taking notice, too. The National Institute of Standards and Technology gave a $13.5 million grant, under its Advanced Technology Program, to transfer technology from military and aerospace to commercial products. The grant will finance Scrimp development by Hardcore DuPont, Dow Chemical Co., Brunswick Technologies Inc., DuPont Composites and Johns Hopkins University.
Scrimp is a process similar to resin transfer molding, but it requires only one side of a tool and a simple vacuum bag covering the composite laminate. Resin is infused only under vacuum. A patented system distributes the resin to completely wet out the laminate.
As a completely closed system, Scrimp traps volatile organic compounds. Styrene levels are reduced to well below the tightest pollution standards.