Resin Infusion (RI)
Resin infusion is the process whereby resin is drawn into a dry laminate whilst it is held under vacuum against a rigid mould by a sealed flexible membrane. The most commonly used membrane consists of a disposable film (vacuum bag) and this film is sealed against the mould edges using a sealant tape.
Resin infusion is particularly relevant when making very large structures as tooling costs are relatively low. Unlike RTM, the ‘B’ surface finish of the resulting laminate is not controlled cosmetically but excellent laminate properties can be achieved. Volatile emissions can also be dramatically reduced, making resin infusion an excellent alternative to large-scale open moulding.
Recent developments with renewable silicone vacuum membranes have widened the scope for resin infusion and can sometimes be used to reduce the general cost of consumable materials.