Kenway Corporation, a premier composites manufacturing company located in Augusta, Maine, announces details of its new division TCM Composites. For companies Incorporating Arkema’s Blocbuilder product TCM Composites will provide their manufacturing processes, technology services and on-site training created specifically to support Blocbuilder.
Arkema’s Blocbuilder product has already received its accolades from the American Composites Manufacturing Association who recognized Arkema with the award for innovation at the Composites 2009 Exhibition and Conference in Tampa, Florida. Arkema’s Blocbuilder product, a nitroxide-mediated, controlled radical polymerization (NM-CRP) is a processing system that allows fast and efficient infusion of large parts to cure without stress. This radical innovation opens new doors for composite parts that measure over 5 ½ inches thick which, are historically known to warp during conventional open-molding manufacturing resulting in costly post-machining. The Blocbuilder product means the possibility of manufacturing large composite parts in a single process and greatly reducing manufacturing costs.
Through Kenway’s collaboration on the Blocbuilder R&D program it was discovered that without the ability to heat and cool molds the Blocbuilder CRP technology is ineffective. Further research revealed that it is the combination of CRP technology and TCM that allows for successful vacuum infusion of thick laminates. The concept is simple: use an efficient BTU transfer media to both heat and cool your molds, thereby eliminating ambient conditions from the composite manufacturing equation.
It is this concept that virtually revolutionizes composites manufacturing. As it stands combining Blocbuilder nanotechnology combined with the TCM process allows for improved flow characteristics, the ability to cure-on-demand enhanced physical physicals properties and consistent more efficient production times for laminates exceeding 6” in thickness.
Kenway’s new division, TCM Composites will manufacture and sell temperature controlled closed mold units that it will offer to customers using the Blocbuilder technology. And, while supporting Blocbuilder with the TCM process means tremendous possibility and money-savings for composites manufacturers it does require certain finesse. “Hands on education is critical for customer’s using the Blocbuilder technology” says, Ian Kopp. One of the goals of TCM Composites is to provide employee training in collaboration with Southern Maine Community College (SMCC). TCM Composites will also offer consulting services for incorporating the TCM process into the manufacturing environment.
This is an exciting opportunity for Kenway as it opens the doors into new markets. Kenway sees taking The TCM and CRP innovation into markets such as the wind industry, heavy industry as well as renewable energy.