Composite research center installs high-pressure RTM system from KraussMaffei

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  • High-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) of both epoxy resin and polyurethane
  • New production methods are being developed and advanced into industrial series production
  • Promoting composites industries in the UK

The National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol, UK has put a KraussMaffei RimStar Compact 4/4/4 into operation. The mixing and metering machine can process both epoxy resin and polyurethane (PUR) and enables short cycle times for production of lightweight components.

High-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) of both epoxy resin and polyurethane

The National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol, UK has expanded its TechCenter with a new KraussMaffei RimStar Compact 4/4/4 mixing and metering machine. The system is equipped with two mixing heads, enabling it to process both epoxy resin and polyurethane in high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM).

“Previously, the HP-RTM process primarily used epoxy resin as the matrix material. Recently, however, an increasing number of components are being made of polyurethane in the HP-RTM (high pressure RTM) process. Because the RimStar Compact 4/4/4 can process both matrix systems, it gives the NCC and its member companies great flexibility for carrying out application-oriented test series.”, explains Wolfgang Hinz, Product and Sales Manager Business Unit Composites and Surfaces at KraussMaffei.

KraussMaffei RimStar Compact 4/4/4 mixing and metering machine

The KraussMaffei RimStar Compact 4/4/4 mixing and metering machine at the NCC UK: The system is equipped with two mixing heads, enabling it to process both epoxy resin and polyurethane in high-pressure resin transfer molding (source: KraussMaffei)

Promoting composites industries in the UK

The National Composites Centre opened in 2011 and is a central element of the UK Composites Strategy, an initiative of the UK government to promote the composites industry in the United Kingdom. Implementing innovative technologies is intended to make the UK-based companies more competitive on an international level. Particular focus is on the aviation and aerospace, vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy industries.

New production methods are being developed and advanced into industrial series production

At the NCC, new production methods are being developed for composite materials and advanced into industrial series production. The research is focused on areas including the automated manufacturing of fiber preforms, component manufacturing using autoclaves and compression molding and post-mold processing of the fiber-reinforced components. Furthermore, measurement and inspection systems for visual investigation and thermal and rheological analysis are available. Over 30 industrial companies are now organized as members of the NCC. The total floor space of the institute was expanded to 8500 m². As part of this expansion, the RimStar Compact 4/4/4 was also put into operation. Since then, KraussMaffei has also been a member of the NCC, offering interested companies the opportunity to run tests on-site.

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