Method of making composite structures

  • US 5,800,749 A
  • Filed: 05/21/1996
  • Issued: 09/01/1998
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/14/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A method of making a composite structure having an exposed reinforcing fabric layer free of structural foam and curable resin, said method comprising the steps of:

  • attaching a reinforcing fabric layer to a non-woven fabric layer on one side thereof;

    arranging said attached fabric layers in a configuration constrained against outward movement and with the non-woven fabric layer facing inwardly and defining a cavity between opposing surfaces thereof;

    dispensing a predetermined amount of a self-expanding, self-curable, uncured structural foam into said cavity, said foam expanding and curing in said cavity at a molding pressure determined by said predetermined amount of said foam and thereby attaching itself to said non-woven fabric layer to form said composite structure, said molding pressure causing said expanding foam to substantially fill only interstices of said non-woven fabric layer, without substantially penetrating the reinforcing fabric layer; and

    ,freeing said cured composite structure from said constraint of said arranging step, said reinforcing fabric layer of said composite structure being thereafter substantially completely saturatable with a curable material for lamination to another structure in a subsequent processing step.

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