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Hidden resin flow channel is revealed at JEC for the first time

News International-French

8 Mar 2016

Sponsored Innovation report - Imagine a resin infusion media made so permeable that it dramatically speeded up resin flow and yet consumed absolutely zero resin itself and is able to be reused hundreds of times.

Such technical features do seem unimaginable but they exist in the guise of the new morphing runner system from Alan Harper Composites Ltd, a reusable vacuum membrane technology specialist company from UK.

The company does not believe the industry will continue to accept the high cost waste associated with unsound, single use “consumable bagging”. The reason is that reusable vacuum membranes  are bringing not only significant cost reduction but allowing new technology breakthroughs previously unimaginable with the past consumable bagging conventional systems.

The new morphing runner system firmly places reusables head and shoulders over consumables dwarfing their ability to meet more demanding processing technical challenges whilst at the same time reducing  moulders costly waste.

Morphing  Runner  operated “ON”  providing  12 mm runner slot.
Also 22 mm and 32mm available

For example, in resin infusion the old system of spiral wrap positioned under the bag film had major drawbacks in that it required use of consumable peel ply yet often printed through flow paths to the cosmetic part A surface due to resin shrinkage. Apart from this the wasteful cured flow channels/runners had to be removed with costly labour to clean up for each moulding cycle. By eliminating all these consumable issues associated with the old methods, reusable morphing runners clearly demonstrate how infusion can be made more efficient with lower costs and far less wasteful when adopting the new reusable approach.

Morphing runners provide unquestionable advantages:

  • No resin wastage associated with resin runner channels
  • No wasted cured resin clean up
  • No peel ply needed
  • No flow mesh needed with optimized morphing runner networks
  • No runner cosmetic print through
  • No unwanted and damaging runner exothermic reactions
  • No issues of different consolidation pressures in runner zones

The advantages of reusable vacuum membranes give birth to  invisible Resin Runner
It may seem a little magical but it is now perfectly possible to infuse composites with moulds having large resin distribution channels which can be made to appear and disappear on demand.

The new Morphing Runner is a seamless built in resin flow path within a reusable vacuum membrane. The novel design can be made to disappear after infusion and before cure which eliminates the need to remove  hardened and wasteful resin flow channels. The technology also eliminates the need for peel ply under former conventional infusion spiral wrap flow paths.


Cross Section Morphing Runner OFF leaving absolute flush smooth surface 

Morphing Runner is built into the reusable membrane during manufacture and features a single  or multiple control points allowing resin flow paths to be orchestrated by appearing and disappearing at will. Morphing resin runners can be networked together to provide multiple channels radiating from one central channel.

Morphing Runner is available as a profile to embed  within the reusable vacuum membrane during manufacture. It is easily positioned and sealed into the primary membrane layers then reinforced. This is fitted with built in pressure connection providing simple external control of runner channel ON and OFF condition.

The illustration below shows clearly the cross section and method of operation for the new  morphing resin runner feed.