Welcome to PoolAndSpa.com 
  We Bring The World Of Pools And Spas Right To Your Front Door !
  Swimming Pool And Hot Tub Parts & Supplies, How-To Articles & Videos
  Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Click Here
Home      Search      How-To      Contact      Videos      Shop Now      Parts      Mailing List      Order Status      View Cart


Advanced Search


Product Directory >
  Hot Tub Parts >
  Pool Parts >
  Hot Tub Products >
  Pool Products >
Pool & Spa Covers >
  Green Products >
Backyard Products >
  Clearance Dept. >
  Coupons Deals >
  Newsletter Deals >

Sign Up For Special Coupons & Deals From Our PoolAndSpa.com Email Newsletter

Click Here

Click Here

Click Here

Click Here

Click Here

Click Here

Click Here

Click Here

Call us Toll Free at 1-800-876-7647 or 631-205-5200 !
The World's Oldest & Largest Web Site for Swimming Pool & Hot Tub Spa Owners
with over 5000 pages of information, pool & spa supplies and parts !

Poolandspa.com News


Cost-effective production of spa cabinets:

Optimized manufacturing process uses polyurethane system from BaySystems™ and Long Fiber Technology

Pittsburgh, October 21, 2008 — Sunbelt Spas recently switched from traditional extruded polystyrene parts for its spa cabinets to Long Fiber Technology (LFT) using the Baydur® 675 polyurethane system from Bayer MaterialScience LLC. The structural nature of LFT allowed Sunbelt to eliminate the need for a traditional spa frame, and the resulting impact was two-fold: Sunbelt Spas was able to design an innovative spa cabinet with superior Class A surfaces and major aesthetic appeal, and it dramatically reduced the amount of time and labor required to assemble the finished product. This is a revolutionary benefit to spa OEMs, who are no longer required to buy or build a spa frame.

Sunbelt’s seven- and eight-foot LFT spa cabinets, designed and manufactured by Romeo RIM, Inc. of Romeo, Mich., feature extremely durable, rigid panels that can withstand a major impact without damage. While traditional extruded polystyrene cabinets are manufactured in sections that have to be assembled in a labor-intensive process, LFT allows Romeo RIM to produce the Sunbelt Spa cabinets in a few large, one-piece panels that are fully molded and easy to assemble. The spas are now assembled in 16 parts – four corners, four sides, four top rails and four bottom rails – which has resulted in a dramatic boost to Sunbelt’s manufacturing throughput.

“The extruded polystyrene material we had previously used for our spa cabinets required a lot of labor to put the individual parts together, but by switching to LFT-molded parts, we went from teams of assemblers putting together roughly 12 cabinets per day to smaller teams of assemblers each being able to finish a spa cabinet every 25 minutes,” said Matt Markiton, vice president, Sunbelt Spas. “The move to LFT-molded spa cabinets has been a win-win situation for us, because they’re not only more aesthetically pleasing, but also stronger, more durable and less labor-intensive for us to put together.”

The durability and rigidness of LFT-molded parts allowed Sunbelt to produce a spa cabinet with an unprecedented strength-to-weight ratio. While the limitations of other technologies have required spa cabinet manufacturers to construct very thick panels in order to attain the desired strength and stiffness, the LFT process has allowed Sunbelt to create a cabinet with lightweight panels that are significantly thinner and stronger than their non-LFT counterparts.

These developments enabled Sunbelt and Romeo RIM to benefit from the polyurethane expertise that Bayer MaterialScience has honed over decades as a leading supplier to customers in the polyurethane industry. BaySystems™, the umbrella brand for the global polyurethane systems operations of Bayer MaterialScience, has grown out of this expertise and the company’s close cooperation with its customers.

In the LFT process, a robot is programmed to move over the open mold cavity while simultaneously dispensing both long glass fibers and Bayer MaterialScience’s Baydur® 675 polyurethane system in an open-pour method. After the robot is finished pouring the material into the cavity, the mold is closed and the material is then put through the traditional closed-mold RIM cycle. To achieve a durable surface for the finished LFT part, an in-mold coating is applied on the cavity tool prior to the material being poured into the cavity. This creates a polyurethane coating that chemically bonds itself to the LFT substrate, resulting in a surface that is extremely durable and scratch resistant.

“The LFT process allows Romeo RIM to mold large, intricate parts with thick or thin walls and very smooth, hard finished surfaces,” said Harry George, head-new applications, Diversified Industries Group, BaySystems™. “In the case of Sunbelt Spas, LFT provided them the freedom to design an innovative spa cabinet that would not have been possible to achieve with other manufacturing methods.”

Collaborating with Bayer MaterialScience and Romeo RIM, Sunbelt used the companies’ LFT expertise to design a completely unique spa cabinet with custom colors, geometry and surface grain. The unique beveled rail design of Sunbelt’s LFT cabinets has received rave reviews, according to Markiton, but features many structural benefits as well.

For example, temperature fluctuation does not affect the stability of the LFT-molded cabinet, unlike polystyrene spa cabinets that can warp or become brittle from extreme temperature shifts. Romeo RIM conducted accelerated UV exposure testing on the LFT spa cabinets and determined that the glossy surface appearance stays consistent over time, unlike some other materials that exhibit gloss shift from exposure to the elements after as little as a year.

“These spa cabinets were an extremely collaborative effort among Bayer, Romeo RIM and Sunbelt Spas,” said Patrick Foster, customer development manager, Romeo RIM. “The combination of Sunbelt’s vision, Bayer’s materials expertise and our design resources has allowed us to develop something that’s completely custom and extremely unique to the spa industry.”

Effective March 1, 2007, Bayer MaterialScience has combined its entire global polyurethane systems business under the umbrella brand of BaySystems™. This change affects not only existing product brands in this segment – including Baydur® 675 – but also the global network of polyurethane systems houses. More information about BaySystems™ can be found at

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 15,400 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2007 sales of 10.4 billion euros. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Our inorganic basic chemicals unit produces chlorine and related essential products for the chemicals industry.

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2007 net sales of 8.1 billion euros and employed 16,800 at year end. Bayer’s three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people’s lives through a broad range of essential products that help diagnose, prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability.
Tom Erdner, Phone: 412-777-5200
E-mail: thomas.erdner@bayerbms.com
For more information about Romeo RIM molding, call Patrick Foster at 586-336-5816, e-mail patrick.foster@romeorim.com, or visit www.romeorim.com.

For more information about Sunbelt Spas, call 1-800-258-7727, e-mail info@sunbeltspas.com or visit www.sunbeltspas.com.

For more information about BaySystems™, visit www.bayer-baysystems.com.

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience, call 1-800-662-2927, e-mail naftainfo@bayerbms.com or visit www.bayermaterialsciencenafta.com.