Besides continuing the new product developments and facility expansions, Gigantex formed its own raw material processing project in 2010. The total investment on this advanced hot-melt prepreg equipment and its operating peripherals has exceeded NT$60,000,000 so far. Gigantex is the first company of its scale to invest in such a complicated and expensive system. However, other than Gigantex’s vertical integration process which enables the stable raw material supplies, the rewards are the flexibility to design the products with different FAW prepregs, lower acquisition cost for raw materials and the assurance of the prepreg quality. Consequently, as aforesaid, this investment helps to improve one more competition advantage to Gigantex had missing over the years; that is, to be more price competitive.
Prepreg Process Division
The missions of this new division are assisting Gigantex R&D and Production Team to provide them with:
- Design Flexibility: With the more choices of low and high FAW prepreg, laminate designers can be more flexible to utilize the small regional reinforcement concept to precisely place the patches to the positions needed. This is something not easily attainable by out-sourced prepregs.
- More Raw Material Types and Suppliers can be selected.
- Optimum Lay-up Design through Resin and Fibers.
- Lower Prepreg Acquisition Cost
Fibers, Resins and Impregnation Process
Carbon fibers are majorly from Toray and Toho. They are pricy yet for their higher and stable quality, it is a must. The minimum requirement of tensile modulus for our products is from 24 ton and with some extreme design it is even required a higher grade as 50 ton. For some products that do not require specific strength to weight ratio, lower grade carbon fiber such as T300 from Toray and TOHO from TFP are also used. To us, there is no so-called “premium” or “inferior” product or material; it is just a matter of how you, our valuable customers, wish your products to be like.
Gigantex designs the resin systems in house.
For different product applications, resin formulations are unique to each others.
Three major categories are:
- High-impact Resin System
- Stiffer Resin System
- High Tg Resin System
We can simply define the impregnation process as the combining resin and fiber together as a sheet layer. Here in Gigantex, it is a two-stage process:
- Resin Film Coating Process
- Fiber Adhesion Process
The advantages of this process over the traditional wet hot-melt impregnation process are:
- Mass production is feasible.
- More even resin and fiber dispersion per square meter
- Versatility in controlling resin content, from 20% to 85%
- Environment Friendly
- Cost Efficient
Prepreg QA Procedure
Inspection Items are:
- Coupon Tests