Better impregnation of prepregs thanks to T-Die method

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  • Better impregnation results than with “resin film stack method”
  • T-Die UD-prepreg machine for thermosets and thermoplastics
  • Winner of JEC Asia Innovation Award, Category: Equipment

Prepreg production with thermoplastic resins has been gaining a lot of attention recently. Until now, the main manufacturing methods were the belt-press as well as direct impregnation. However, there are concerns about high initial investments, running and production costs, and specific requirements for productivity improvements. As a result, based on these specifications and issues, Aiki Riotech Corporation, Japan, has been developing a new prepreg machine.

 T-Die UD-prepreg machine

T-Die UD-prepreg machine for thermosets and thermoplastics (source: Aiki Riotech Corporation)

T-Die method (hot-melt direct impregnation)

Starting in June 2010, said-machine was developed for thermoset resins. When it comes to the thermoplastic resin market, designs began to be worked on in 2013 by using the T-Die method (hot-melt direct impregnation). The project was developed jointly with Gifu University, who contributed by performing the evaluations of sample prepregs.

Better impregnation results than with “resin film stack method”

The results of the evaluation revealed that the T-Die method gave far better impregnation results than the “resin film stack method”. That method requires bigger areas for heating as well as more time during impregnation. Consequently, the size of the machine would be bigger and thus presents disadvantages such as a lack of operability, lesser productivity, among others. The T-Die method, however, saves heating space, uses less impregnation time and observes better production rates. Simultaneously, the T-Die method dramatically reduces the raw material costs. Other advantages are lower initial investment costs (up to 20-30%) and that it can be used for both thermoset and thermoplastic resins.

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