What is Vacuum Infusion Processing (VIP)?
The Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) is a common resin infusion fabrication method that uses vacuum pressure to drive resin into dry fibre-reinforcement material. Materials are laid up dry into the mold and the vacuum is applied before resin is introduced. Once a complete vacuum is achieved, resin is literally sucked into the laminate via carefully placed resin-feed tubing. There has been a large shift to the VIP process during 2003 since it is simple to set-up and many raw material suppliers provide all the reusable materials necessary for this process. As VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions are regulated to lower percentages, a closed resin infusion process allows one to achieve these goals.
Benefits of VIP
Vacuum infusion provides a number of benefits:
- Exceptional fiber-to-resin ratio
- Less wasted resin
- Very consistent resin usage
- Unlimited set-up time
VIP uses nylon vacuum bag which is not reusable. The bag is placed over the part and is sealed around the perimeter of the mold with tacky-tape. Resin flow is enhanced by the EnkaFusion nylon matting, located at the resin feed-port. If necessary, other flow media can be placed on the laminate. Such flow media includes Lantor Soric®, typically used for solid laminates. As for sandwich core panels, Divinymat® would be used.