This August 21 – 22, 2019, IACMI will host the two-day workshop, “SMC 101: From What to Why,” at IACMI Scale-Up Research Facility (SURF) in Detroit, Mich. Led by industry expert Jim Plaunt, the workshop is  available to anyone involved or interested in SMC or hands-on processing. Brian Klotz, an SMC technician at IACMI SURF, has participated in a previous workshop and attributes his applied knowledge of materials science with SMC chemical processes to Jim Plaunt’s SMC course.

Although he initially had little experience with composites or SMC, Klotz now has two years of knowledge as an SMC technician and processor. He has worked with a wide variety of different SMC materials at SURF, including low-density bubbles and styrene-free material. Klotz spoke to the challenges of training technicians to form the habit of thinking through the part they’re processing when on a manufacturing line. “As a technician, a lot of the time you’re talking to the engineers and it takes a long time for them to break it down. Even though you’re learning hands-on, making parts and molding, the understanding of the chemical reactions with the material becomes exponentially more clear with workshops and courses,” he said.

Klotz emphasized that the SMC training workshop will inform participants on the actual chemical reactions that are taking place to prevent mistakes, increase efficiency and inform why the part is being made. For example, a common issue that happens with SMC is that it sticks to the tool. Klotz said the usual reaction is to apply tons of mold release to the tool but it, in fact, ruins any ability to paint any part that comes off of it. He explained, “Not understanding what is permanently affecting parts limits technicians in processing. Rather than trying the first thing that comes to mind, this workshop trains technicians to really think through the positive and negative reactions with what chemical formulation or density they’re working within the context of why the part is being made.”

“The SMC workshop explains, in thorough detail but very understandable terms, why technicians do the things they do and how they can affect the process by understanding the chemical reactions that take place in SMC,” Klotz added. Plaunt will systematically go through a history of standard and modern SMC, factors involved with cost, and techniques in formulating SMC structure.

Join IACMI at the SMC 101 on August 21 – 22, 2019 to learn more about best practices and techniques to create and repair SMC. Topics covered in the workshop include standard and low-density SMC, shrinkage control, SMC formulating, SMC compounding, compression molding SMC, and more. Workshop training fees for non-IACMI members are $650; IACMI members, $550; and students, $325. Click here to learn more about the details of the workshop and to register by August 19, 2019.

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