NetComposites
Thermwood

Radio Frequency Sheet Moulding Compound Preheater introduced

22 February 2011

A new preheating system for sheet moulding compound (SMC) that uses radio frequency heating technology is being introduced by Radio Frequency Co., Inc. of Millis, Massachusetts.

This new system is claimed to improve the distribution of reinforcement fibres in the moulding process which enhances product quality and strength, reduces press cure time by 50%, and be especially effective for thicker bosses and structures.

According to Radio Frequency Co, the Macrowave SMC Preheater provides uniform heating throughout the entire thickness of the sheet moulding compound instantly, without requiring any temperature differential to force heat by conduction from the surface to the centre. They say that this facilitates the movement and distribution of fibres throughout moulded parts, improving their strength and surface finish, and that the RF preheater reduces press cure time which enables a 100% increase in productivity for an existing press.

The Macrowave SMC preheater is capable of preheating SMC loads up to 30"" W x 84"" L in under one minute, has a PLC which controls the heat cycle time, power level, and conveyor movement to synchronize with the press operation. The conveyor can either feed the SMC charge straight through the press or return it to the feed end after heating.

The Macrowave SMC preheater is priced from $95K up, depending upon belt size and other customer requirements.