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TWI Purchase Laboratory Platen Press

TWI Purchase Laboratory Platen Press

  • Tuesday, 7th February 2017
  • Reading time: about 4 minutes

TWI has purchased a Fontijne Platen Press for use in one of its state-of-the art laboratories at the company’s Cambridge, UK, headquarters.

TWI describes itself as one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in materials joining and engineering processes as applied in industry. It specialises in innovation, knowledge transfer and in solving problems across all aspects of manufacturing, fabrication and whole-life integrity management.

According to TWI, the Platen Press has been supplied through the UK agents Intelicare. The model is a LabPro 600, a hydraulically operated 2-column press with unique prism guiding of the 600 x 600 mm heated platens, allowing unrestricted access to the complete platen area. Platen heating up to 450°C and a wide range press force; from 100 to 600kN.

Other key features of the press are:-

  • Platen heating speed of 20°C/min.

  • Low Pressure Valve for lower minimal press force.

  • Programmable control system with an 8.4” touch panel, with easy programming using a simple to use but comprehensive recipe builder for the generation or editing of programs.

  • Rapid cooling of the platens with a common rail chilled water system.

Also supplied by Intelicare was a Frigosystem 38kW chiller for rapid cooling of the platens. TWI explains that these were especially adapted with a calibrated pump by-pass circuit to allow the pump to continue running when platen cooling is not activated, it also has the ability to accept boiling water returning from the platens without high temperature alarms being generated. High temperature braided hoses have been supplied to connect the platens to the chiller.

The rapid cooling of the platens are said to enable quick changeover of processed test samples using the 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.   

Fontijne Presses Hydraulic Laboratory Platen Presses are used in the polymer processing, rubber, and composites industry for research and materials development, sample preparation, small production processes for quality control and series production of finished product.

Intelicare specialises in the supply and service of ancillary equipment used within the plastics processing and other industries. Key product lines include Fluid Temperature Control, Materials Handling and Laboratory Platen Presses, all sourced from high quality European manufacturers. The company also has an enviable reputation for product support.

TWI says it will use the press for the development and testing of new materials as part of the recently announced Dual Use Technology Exploitation (DUTE) project, a £10.3 million jointly funded project between government and industry which backs the best new technologies and research that can have a ‘dual-use’ in defence and civil sector businesses. The total programme value includes £6.5 million of Government funding from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) 2014 competition and will support the creation of more than 140 new jobs and safeguard a further 190 jobs across 15 partners up to 2019.

TWI is extremely pleased with the press so far as demonstrated by Chris Worrall, Principal Project Leader, Adhesives, Composites and Sealants. Chris says, “We purchased the LabPro 600 to increase our capability and capacity to develop materials and material joining techniques and so far the results have exceeded expectations.”

Chris also pointed out that the choice of press was based on a number of issues, “Our requirements were met with 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, and the build quality of the equipment.”


Image provided by TWI

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