TechCentre of KraussMaffei: New Shuttle Mould Carrier Complements Lightweight Construction

25 April 2019

TechCentre of KraussMaffei: New Shuttle Mould Carrier Complements Lightweight Construction

KraussMaffei expands its TechCentre with a new shuttle mould carrier and its competence in the area of fibre-reinforced lightweight construction.

The new MX mould carrier with a clamping force of 4,000 kN has a flexible design and can be combined both with the LFI process (Long Fibre Injection) or with spraying applications such as the SCS process (Structural Component Spraying). But surface technologies such as R-RIM (Reinforced Reaction Injection moulding) with polyurethane are also possible.

From idea to series production

“The market for fibre-reinforced composites continues to develop very dynamically. We support our customers sustainably from the idea to the serial production. That's why we are continuously modernising and expanding our lightweight construction TechCentre and offering our customers optimal conditions for developing and testing new production-ready technologies and automation tasks," explains Sebastian Schmidhuber, Head of Development of Reaction Process Machinery at KraussMaffei.

The new shuttle mould carrier is part of a complete system, which has a separate cab and robot for the LFI and SCS spraying processes. A total of five different mixing heads are available for the different tests and automation tasks. A special shuttle carrier is used to quickly transport the bottom mould between the machining stations of the bottom mould. As a result, the foam discharge, for example, can occur in the bottom mould outside of the clamping unit. Another distinguishing feature of the series is the tilting movement of the upper and lower mould fixing platens. "We offer our customers the necessary flexibility and can quickly change over to the respective automation task. And this is possible throughout the entire process chain," adds Schmidhuber.

LFI stands for Long Fibre Injection. The process permits a wide range of applications. Anything is possible in the series from a small trim part for a car interior to a large structural component with a Class A visible surface. Since this is a PUR process where mould cavity pressures are < 10 bar, LFI can be used at the same time to produce a high-strength sandwich element with a honeycomb structure as the core layer.

Structural Component Spraying (SCS) is a further development of LFI honeycomb technology. SCS further reduces the thickness and the weight of the top layers, with the aim of optimising lightweight construction. In SCS processes, layers composed of fibre mats and honeycomb cores are sprayed with unreinforced PUR, inserted into a mould, and pressed into shape.

Unique lightweight construction TechCentre

The KraussMaffei TechCentre in Munich is leading-edge. On over 4,000 m² more than 25 systems from injection moulding, reaction processing machinery and extrusion technology are available for internal tests and customers to optimise their processes in practice or test prototypes. KraussMaffei is at the forefront of developments, particularly in the area of fibre-reinforced lightweight construction. In terms of Reaction Process Machinery this includes, for example, the different RTM processes, Pultrusion or the LFI process, as well as the thermoplastic FibreForm process in Injection moulding Machinery.

Photo provided by KraussMaffei

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