Core Molding Technologies Inc. is boosting its capacity to mold parts from polydicyclopentadiene (pDCPD).
The Columbus, Ohio, company said it will spend $2 million on molding presses and metering equipment to reaction injection mold the material, which is an alternative to sheet molding compound and fiberglass-reinforced thermosets.
The polymer is made by reacting a two-part system containing the monomer dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and a catalyst. The polymer cures in about 30 seconds, according to Core Molding. Applications include truck hoods and fender splash panels, heavy truck air deflectors, auto and truck bumpers, and components for construction and agricultural equipment.
Core Molding said pDCPD products can contain intricate part features such as ribs and holes which are molded into the product to minimize the need for secondary operations. Key properties of the thermoset include high quality surface finish, high impact resistance and fatigue properties, and corrosion resistance. The low density of the polymer and its ability to be molded into thin cross-sections make it possible to cut part weight similar to the use of thermoplastic polymers.
In addition to pDCPD processing, Core Molding makes SMC and molds glass-filled thermosets and thermoplastics. It specializes in large-part molding. Its technologies span processes as diverse as molding SMC and bulk molding compounds, glass-mat thermoplastics, spray-up, lay-up and resin transfer molding.
Core Molding expects to land about $10 million per year in new business for DCPD molding beginning in late 2015. The new business has prompted the firm to invest in more pDCPD capacity at its Matamoros, Mexico, operation.
“Many of our current customers already purchase DCPD products, and our targeted markets include DCPD applications,” explained Terry O'Donovan, Core Molding vice president of marketing and sales, in a news release.
“Offering our customers a broad range of material systems and processes has been a key competitive advantage of Core for many years,” O'Donovan said.
Core Molding's manufacturing plants are in Columbus and Batavia, Ohio; Gaffney, S.C.; Winona, Minn., and Matamoros.
The company recently expanded its thermoplastics molding capabilities by acquiring the assets of CPI Binani Inc. of Winona, Minn., in March. The Winona plant makes direct long-fiber thermoplastic components for marine, automotive, packaging and other industries. It employs about 100 and is now called the CPI Division of Core Molding.
Publicly traded Core Molding reported first quarter 2015 total net sales of $49.6 million, up 19 percent from the period in 2014. Net profit was $3.2 million vs. $2.1 million last year.