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KraussMaffei has delivered a RimStar Compact high pressure resin transfer moulding (HP-RTM) machine to the Composite Centre of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield, UK.
The RimStar Compact at the AMRC ranks among the world’s largest, most state-of-the-art and flexible of its kind for the HP-RTM process, KraussMaffei reports.
“The specific selection of two dosing units and the corresponding mixing heads allows for a particularly precise mixing of the resin system,” explains Sebastian Schmidhuber, Head of Development for Reaction Process Machinery at KraussMaffei. “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.”
Processing such highly reactive matrix materials opens up new development opportunities for composite materials and components with more intricate geometric structures.
“The curing times are critical here,” says Darren Wells, Research Engineer at AMRC. “Using highly reactive systems, they can be reduced down to three minutes. With such short times, they offer great opportunities for the manufacturing industry.”
Another advantage of the new RimStar Compact is its compact design. Matrix material injection and curing take place in the same mould. This results in a consistently high quality of the components and in high process reproducibility.
“Thanks to its modular design, we are able to quickly and individually meet our customers’ specific needs,” states Wells. “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, 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,” he says. “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.”
Image provided by KraussMaffei
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