Noblesville, IN (April 23, 2009)–Krix Loudspeakers is Australia’s largest manufacturer of cinema and high-fidelity speakers. A key component of the company’s theater products is the horn that transmits acoustic energy generated by the speaker diaphragm. In the past, all Krix speaker horns were made from hand-laid-up fiberglass, which is formed in slow and expensive operations.
Amtrade, IDI Composites’ exclusive manufacturer and material supplier of thermoset bulk molding compound (BMC) in Australia, received a sample of BMC molded into a speaker housing during an IDI visit to its plant. After Amtrade reviewed the sample of the promising material alternative with the Australian molding firm, R.E. Davison, the molder approached and convinced Krix to switch from hand-laid-up fiberglass horns to BMC horns. A composite consisting of fiber reinforcement in a polymer resin, BMC provides vibration dampening. BMC is also suitable for closed molding, allowing manufacturers like R.E. Davison to accurately produce complex shapes–like that of speaker horns–that cannot be made from the composites used in hand-laid-up processes.
But R. E. Davison needed a special BMC formulation to meet critical flow requirements and other application criteria. So the molder worked with Amtrade to develop a BMC version offering the necessary balance of properties. At the end of an iterative process, Amtrade produced a material that flows through the intricate molding tools used to make the horns but does not cure too quickly or shrink too much during the manufacturing process.
After conducting its own tests, Krix was pleased with the vibration dampening provided by BMC. The moderate price of the material also helps Krix stay within its tight cost constraints for manufacturing speaker horns. In addition, BMC can be painted so that the horns meet the company’s demanding appearance requirements. All in all, Krix is so pleased with BMC that the material is now used to make the majority of the speaker horns it ships to customers all over the world.
IDI Composites International is a global formulator and manufacturer of thermoset molding compounds for custom molders and OEMs. The company provides customized polyester/vinylester-based bulk molding compounds (BMC) and sheet molding compounds (SMC) for markets including automotive, electrical, appliance, food service and energy.
Headquartered in a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and research center in Noblesville, IN, IDI also operates multiple wholly owned manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia and the Americas.