- High speed production of TPU and PA/carbon fiber composite sheets
- Winner at JEC Asia Innovation Awards – Category: Process
At this year’s JEC Asia Innovation Awards the Korean company Dongsung Chemical Co., Ltd has introduced a new molding method that can produce thermoplastic/carbon fiber composite sheets with a high cycle speed (within 2 minutes). Typical thermoplastic resins have difficulties in penetrating the carbon fiber sheet due to their high viscosity. When the thermoplastic is pressed on the carbon fiber mat with high viscosity, the void space causes a loss in mechanical properties. Additionally, it is difficult to produce a uniform thermoplastic/carbon fiber composite as a continuous product.
High-frequency (HF) press molding technology enables 1 min cycle time
The following issues were considered important when developing the TPU and PA thermoplastic/carbon fiber composite sheets: control of the interfacial treatment of the carbon fiber and thermoplastic resin, the temperature and process used to make the sheet, and finally the inter-diffusion phenomena between the carbon fiber and the thermoplastic resin. This new process can produce uniform CF composite sheets without a void space and is an effective method for the mass production of thermoplastic/carbon fiber composites. To make it possible to commercialize these products for automotive applications and other markets, the process needs to possess a high cycle speed for the press molding. Automotive customers need to produce carbon fiber composites within one minute. To answer this need, a high-frequency (HF) press molding technology was developed for use with this thermoplastic sheet, and it has been a success. The cycle time is one minute, including press molding and demolding.
The commercialization stage will start within a year or two, according to the company.