January 13, 2021
There’s plenty of reasons why we love Reaction Injection Molding (RIM) here at Vtech.
It makes complex skylight crafting significantly easier on the end of manufacturers while making skylight performances exponentially stronger and longer-lasting on the side of consumers. Due to its relatively small energy and time-to-build requirements, RIM is also incredibly cost-effective when compared against other modern engineering methods.
Altogether, that leads to what you’d call a “Win-Win” situation.
Take a quick trip back to high school economics and you might recall lessons on how lower production costs for higher performance outputs means that at the end of the day, people get to enjoy better goods at better prices. The same exact principle applies when it comes to today’s RIM technology using aliphatic polyurethane in the manufacturing of skylights.
But to fully understand how distributors can affordably offer these resilient skylights to fit even the most massive-scale orders and abstractly shaped ceilings, let’s take a closer look at the unique processes RIM technology actually provides.
How RIM enhances Skylights
For starters, RIM refers to a process where multiple liquid polymers are mixed and chemically bonded to create an entirely new material.
For good reason, the most commonly RIM-made substance is using polyurethanes. It’s easy to form, incredibly durable, lightweight, and flexible to boot. So, there’s no surprise that aliphatic polyurethane is what’s primarily used to create the most dependable skylights around.
Lasting All-in-One Performances
The skylight models themselves are first made by blending liquid polymers together, then pouring that mixture into a steel mold under intense heat and pressure conditions. Freshly formed polyurethane then cools into shape around a highly reinforced glass panel, resulting in all-in-one solid-state skylights without any separate or removable parts.
This means that, unlike older skylight models, RIM-made skylighting solutions will never leak because their panels and frames have separated over time, and they don’t carry the same annual maintenance requirements to keep them safe to use. They even last long enough for providers like us to offer 20-year transferable warranties, guaranteeing their lasting use under some of the harshest conditions.
Apart from the incredible durability that RIM-made aliphatic polyurethane frames offer, the design flexibility which their steel molds allow is what’s most notable about them.
Because steel as a metal is highly malleable, skylight molds shaped from the material can be easily customized to a customer’s needs as seen here.
Not to mention, since the steel molds of the RIM process are completely filled with liquid polymers before the main heating and bonding process occurs, there’s no chance for warping or cracking to arise in the framing due to mold-based stresses.
This invaluable RIM process all but surpass the manufacturing needs of contemporary skylights, and widespread popularity makes the manufacturing method more manageable in terms of both accessibility and cost.
In fact, outside of skylighting, the hardy production of such incredibly lightweight components is exactly why you’ll see RIM processes used so frequently in the automobile industry and other sectors that need to produce lasting, complex, parts.
The Energy Saving Incentives of RIM
RIM’s lower pressure requirements and temperature thresholds translate to a significantly lower rate of energy consumption during the engineering process, which brings us to another key advantage.
Looking at the Numbers: The amount of pressure applied during RIM polymer mixing processes usually ranges between 1,500 and 3,000 psi. Meanwhile, other common manufacturing processes like thermoplastic injection molding require applications of 5,000 to 30,000 psi for parts to be effectively created. That’s multiple times the demand of RIM.
At the same time, polyurethane polymers are processed at temperatures that run as low as 75°F to 120°F, with their steel molds usually shaped between 130°F and 170°F. Against competing manufacturing processes, RIM’s requirements are once again underwhelming to a welcomed degree. Looking back at thermoplastic injection molding for an example, and the temperature requirements to process parts there start above 170°F on the short end of the spectrum.
As the world grows ever more eco-conscious, these reduced manufacturing requirements are increasingly desirable for the lower environmental impact they provide. Plus, it goes without saying that there’s the added financial benefit of paying a smaller electricity bill.
Bringing RIM Skylighting to your Properties
Thanks to their environmentally sound energy costs, lifetime performances, and fit-to-any-size adaptability, every skylight we sell here at Vtech is happily manufactured through advanced RIM techniques.
Look here to learn more about the unparalleled benefits RIM-made skylight clusters can offer you. Or simply get in touch with us at Vtech straightaway and together we’ll find the best skylighting solution to fit your unique needs.