Dieffenbacher Presents Innovative Press Technologies for Thermosetting Materials

25 July 2008

At its in-house show in June, Dieffenbacher presented their new SMC press series Compress ECO and the first results from the newly developed direct SMC process.

In his welcome speech, Wolf-Gerd Dieffenbacher, the managing partner of the company, emphasized that: ""We are a high-tech partner throughout the entire composites area, as well as being a reliable and financially sound company. Our continuous new developments and improvements to existing techniques for the customers' benefit mean that we are also securing the future of our company and employment at our sites."" He also underlined the continuity of progress in the Dieffenbacher Forming business unit.

The new development of the Compress ECO primarily focused on rounding off the press portfolio to meet customer requirements for a low-cost machine – one that offers value for money combined with advanced technology. Presses in the Compress ECO series in the force range from 400 to 2500 tonnes and table dimensions from 2000 x 1400 mm to 3600 x 2400 mm. The standard series is equipped with pump drive.

The series can also be equipped with 4-point parallel control from the 1000 tonne press upwards.

The second main topic of the Dieffenbacher in-house show concerned the D-SMC development. The Direct Strand Moulding Compound process developed as part of the Durovision project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) drastically shortens the classic manufacturing and production sequence.

The innovative approach of the D-SMC process consists of the possibility to manufacture the duromer fibre roving shortly before it is processed into a component. This is achieved thanks to machine technology that generates a roving that can be handled from the basic components of resin, hardener, filler process additives and glass fibres using a consistent, controlled process. The roving can then be processed by extrusion in the conventional manner.

Compared to the classic SMC process, Dieffenbacher say that the direct D-SMC process offers the following advantages:

• Significant cost reduction by omitting conventional semifinished part manufacture
• Cost control because the basic materials are sourced directly
• Complete control of roving availability, quality and reactivity
• Development and implementation of recipes for specific components
• Omission of conventional cutting-to-length of rovings and roving handling
• No complicated storage of the semifinished part

The objective of the Dieffenbacher development is to bring this D-SMC process to series production maturity over the next few months with the industrial partners involved.

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