North Dakota Patent of the Month – August 2021

Pultrusion is a manufacturing process which produces composite materials by simultaneously pulling a reinforcement material through resin impregnating processing equipment and then cross-head extruding the composite material onto a component. These processes need resin mixers and impregnators to inject the resin into the reinforcement material. The products include 3D shapes formed from one or more dies. Tecton Products LLC has designed a method for incorporating coatings into pultruded products.

As the substrate is pultruded, a coating is applied. The coating can offer numerous properties from improved aesthetics or color to improved weatherability. A feed system provides a feedstock to the pultrusion and coating system. A resin-injection assembly then injects the resin into the feedstock. The resin applied is formulated with fillers to create certain physical modifications of the pultruded substrate. For instance, calcium carbonate particles or clay or glass and so on. The combined resin and feedstock is then pulled through the pultrusion die to shape it into the desired form. A coating is then applied to the pultruded substrate, first with an adhesive layer and then the desired final coating. The coating assembly uses a coating-material applicator with an extruder and die to meticulously apply the coating materials. Coatings can include acrylics, bioplastics, weather stock, and other functional or aesthetic coatings. 

A pulling mechanism pulls the pultrusion article from the pultrusion and coating system which in turn pulls the pultrusion substrate from the die and through the coating system. This in turn pulls the feedstock from the feed system through the resin-injection assembly and into the pultrusion die. This cascading series of events creates an effective and efficient pultrusion system to produce protruded substrates.

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