HOW CARL CAN HELP MANUFACTURERS
CARL allows Midwest manufacturers to test state-of-the-art clean manufacturing technologies under the guidance of personnel expert in their application. Supervised use of this facility will give you a "level playing field" opportunity to determine which of the available products or processes meets your manufacturing and market requirements.
CARL's purpose is to enable midwest firms to select and implement technologies to help them meet environmental regulations at least cost in their plants, while maintaining desired surface quality. Coatings such as paint, stain, and varnish--used extensively by the furniture, metal and plastics coating industries--contain VOCs, which evaporate into the air as the coatings dry. The amount of VOCs released can be reduced by controlling how the coatings are applied and then dried, but not all companies have the knowledge or equipment to do so. CARL contains equipment that mimics an industrial production line, including booths for applying coatings and numerous types of drying mechanisms as well as a variety of application systems.
CARL is the official styrene emissions test lab for the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA). CARL is currently the only laboratory capable of producing emissions test data which can be used for official emissions factors.
Testing has been completed on over 80 projects to date. Projects have included work on wood, metal and plastic substrates. The users of the facility report raw material cost savings, VOC reductions, and improvement in the quality and appearance of the finished product.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
LIGHT-TOOL RESIN TRANSFER MOLDING (L-RTM)
The Light-Tool Resin Transfer Molding (L-RTM) production process has proven to reduce pollutant emissions (primarily styrene) 80 to 99% and polyester/polystyrene resin use can be reduced up to 20%. L-RTM technology also offers enormous potential to reduce work-place part per million (ppm) emissions and employee exposure to fugutive styrene (HAP) vapors. In order for the L-RTM production process to be adopted by the fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) industry, it must prove to produce parts of equal or superior performance at a cost that is competitive with the traditional (and polluting) open mold production process.
With a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency, CMTI has conducted research at the Coating Applications Research Laboratory (CARL) to test the ultimate strength differences between L-RTM (using the innovative technologies) and traditional open mold technology. This research reviewed the technical aspects of the various innovative materials used in L-RTM and quantified strength and economic benefits. Several documents have been produced from this research:
On December 15, 2006, a L-RTM Workshop was presented by CMTI and sponsored by the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. The workshop topics included:
HELPFUL L-RTM WEBSITES
RTM - North
Project reports on testing CARL has done for manufacturers are available on the Technology Transfer website.
ADDITIONAL CARL REPORTS
Copies of the following reports may be obtained by contacting CMTI at 765-463-4749:
Coating Applications Research Laboratory