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Cranfield University has invested in a Fontijne Grotnes composite hydraulically operated curing press.
Cranfield explains that the press, also referred to as a Platen Press, has been supplied through the UK agents Intelicare. The model is a LabPro 1000 which it explains is a 2-column press with prism guiding with 500 x 500 mm heated platens, platen heating up to 450°C and a wide range press force; from 100 to 1000kN.
Other features of the press are:-
Quick closing and opening speed up to 25 mm/sec.
Combined air and water cooling of the platens by means of a new and unique multi channel common rail system which ensures accurate temperature distribution across the platen during the cooling process which has a positive effect on quality of the moulded product.
A ‘bolster’ plate fixed to the platens for attaching the Cranfield moulds and tooling.
Lab ProView control system with a large touch panel for easy control of pressure and temperature and incorporating an almost endless number of programs which can be saved and changed at any time.
According to the University, the Composite Curing Press will enable Cranfield to carry out vital ground-breaking and industry leading research into composite materials for aerospace and automotive industry application as well as enabling further advancement in postgraduate studies for a number of students directly involved with the projects.
Cranfield University are extremely pleased with the press so far as demonstrated by Andrew Mills, Principal Research Fellow Composites Manufacturing, Enhanced Composites & Structures Centre.
Mills says, “We purchased the LabPro 1000 to assist our investigation and development of cost effective manufacturing technology for lightweight composite structures in partnership with industry, in particular but not limited to current research projects for unmanned aircraft structures with BAE SYSTEMS and sports car bodies with McLaren Automotive,”
Mills also pointed out that the choice of press was based on a number of issues; “Our requirements, the high specification of the press including temperature distribution during both the heating and cooling cycles, the quick closing and opening speed of the heated platens, the reputation of Fontijne Presses and the build quality.”
Image provided by Intelicare
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