“Lightweight” is probably not the first word that comes to mind when you think of automobiles, large trucks, or machinery used in industries such as construction or agriculture. The common perception of such vehicles is that they are always heavy, bulky and ponderous in addition to being tough and strong.
However, it is possible to manufacture parts for these cars, trucks and machines in a way which significantly decreases their weight without sacrificing the toughness, strength or durability for which they are typically known. RomeoRIM uses high-quality materials such as thermoset polyurethane, structural foam, and reinforcing fiberglass to create parts much lighter than ones of the same size and shape made from sheet molding compound, bulk molding compound or metals such as steel or aluminum.
Using lightweight parts brings with it a number of tangible advantages. Simply because they use less material, they are noticeably more cost-efficient to manufacture, especially in large numbers. Lightweight vehicles have proven to be significantly more fuel-efficient than their heavier counterparts, allowing them to function much longer using the same amount of gas. This can save owners or operators thousands of dollars over the course of the vehicle or machine’s lifetime.
RomeoRIM specializes in a molding process called long fiber injection (LFI), which is capable of producing strong, stiff parts up to 40% lighter than sheet molding compound, 60% lighter than aluminum and a whopping 80% lighter than steel. It combines light, flexible resin, typically thermoset polyurethane, with stiff, similarly lightweight glass fibers which reinforce the finished part by creating an internal “skeleton”. Parts manufactured using LFI retain these weight advantages even when made on a large scale. RomeoRIM’s largest possible LFI part, which measures 11’ x 11’ x 3’, will still be over 50% lighter and significantly more durable than a sheet molding compound or metal part with similar dimensions.
The decrease in weight does not necessitate the sacrifice of any beneficial properties including durability, impact resistance and ability to function at high and low temperatures or during extreme weather. Vehicles and machinery made using LFI-processed parts will show significant improvement in both efficiency and performance when compared with those which rely on traditional heavier materials.
In addition to LFI, many of RomeoRIM’s other molding processes are capable of producing extremely lightweight parts. These include reaction injection molding (RIM), which also utilizes thermoset polymers such as polyurethane, and structural foam molding, which uses an aerated, foamed material capable of weighing as little as 2 pounds per cubic foot.
All of these are excellent options for producing high-quality yet lightweight parts with excellent structure, performance, and aesthetic appeal. These parts can be manufactured for any industry you require and can be customized according to specifications provided by the customer. Contact RomeoRIM today for more information about how to save time and money by using our lightweight, high-performance molded parts!