Supporting UK Composites

KraussMaffei Delivers HP-RTM System to AMRC

Propelling the development of the HP-RTM process. Photo courtesy of AMRC

Krauss Maffei has delivered its new RimStar Compact HP-RTM (high pressure resin transfer molding) system to the Advanced Manufacturing Reserarch Centre (AMRC) in Rotherham, UK after the AMRC wanted to expand its expertise in the field of highly reactive and fast-reacting resin and hardener systems.

KraussMaffei says its RimStar Compact ranks among the world's largest, most state-of-the-art and flexible of its kind for the HP-RTM process. "The specific selection of two dosing units and the corresponding mixing heads allows for a particularly precise mixing of the resin system. This makes the system the first of its kind in which multiple mixing heads are used in the full scope of functions in order to enable a perfect cavity fill. Even materials that are highly reactive and fast-reacting at the same time—which are increasingly in demand for the HP-RTM process—can be reliably processed," explains Sebastian Schmidhuber, Head of Development for Reaction Process Machinery at KraussMaffei.

Processing such highly reactive matrix materials opens up entirely new development opportunities for composite materials and components with more intricate geometric structures. "The curing times are critical here. Using highly reactive systems, they can be reduced down to three minutes. With such short times, they offer great opportunities for the manufacturing industry," adds Darren Wells, Research Engineer at AMRC.

Another advantage of KraussMaffei's new RimStar Compact, from both a process technology and cost-effectiveness standpoint, is its compact design. Matrix material injection and curing take place in one and the same mold. This results in a consistently high quality of the components and in high process reproducibility.

Darren Wells concludes: "Thanks to its modular design, we are able to quickly and individually meet our customers' specific needs. In this way, we provide them with a unique research and development landscape to test and verify the cycle time and cost savings advantages of the HP-RTM process live." Stephen Lambert, RPM Business Manager at the KraussMaffei Group UK, also sees great opportunities for the HP-RTM process in the UK. "We are looking forward to further future collaboration and development projects at the AMRC. Particularly in the area of vehicle manufacturing and aviation, we see great potential. As an outcome of the collaboration, we have recently received the first series production order of a premium British automaker."



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