Materialise started in 1999 with its R.I.M. activity. In the meantime, we have developed a specialized Reaction Injection Molding competence center, expanding its knowledge daily.
We have developed extensive knowledge in automotive products, especially in interior trim.
Many well-known car manufacturers have found their way to Materialise, and more specifically to R.I.M. when they are in need of a small number of copies in polyurethane or large complex parts. They are very well aware of the advantages of this process. Apart from the low cost and the fast availability of the parts, R.I.M. is a flexible solution for re-ordering.
R.I.M. (Reaction Injection Molding) is a technique to produce plastic parts by low-pressure injection of thermoset resins in molds.
Different types of molds are applicable, among which resin molds are the most frequently used. Materialise focuses on small series molds, built around a master part produced by rapid prototyping methods such as stereolithography or HSM.
Different molds are used, depending on trade off series, size of the part and speed. We offer the following approaches in function of quantity.
1. Directly machined tools; no master needed
· Ureol tools (100-200 mouldings)
2. Master based tools
· Silicone tools (up to 25-50 shots)
· Hybrid tools (50-100 shots)
· Resin tools with fiber reinforcement (200-300 parts)
· Resin tools with aluminum backing (up to 300-1000 parts), dependent on part complexity, R.I.M. material
For large automotive parts, epoxy tools with fiber backing are mostly used (instead of concrete backing), consisting of layers of resin charged with glass fibers. The primary advantage of this mold type is its low weight, meaning that large and very large molds can be made which remain easy to handle.