(Warren, August 14, 2013) KraussMaffei to present the HP-RTM process for lightweight construction applications to automotive customers for the first time in the USA. The partners KraussMaffei, Proper Group International Inc. and Kiefel Technologies Inc. will also present innovative machines and processes for the automotive industry during an Open House (September 18, 2013 in Warren (Michigan, USA)).
Another focal point will be the expertise for lightweight components in the automotive industry, for example structural components or visible components. KraussMaffei will show the most suitable process in this respect, i.e. high pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM), for the first time in the USA. Thanks to the HP-RTM process, KraussMaffei is able to offer machines and components on a turnkey basis for the entire process chain from handling of semifinished products through to finishing of the complete composite fiber part. "The optimum interaction between all system components, which comprise a press, a mold and a metering machine, is an important criterion in producing highly complex parts with a high fiber volume ratio," said JP Mead, Vice President of KraussMaffei Corporation, who is responsible for the Reaction Process Machinery Segment in the USA. KraussMaffei has developed special know-how here as a system partner for multiprocess solutions in metering technology for highly reactive resins. The demonstration will underline KraussMaffei's competence as the technology leader for automotive lightweight applications. In order to produce fiber-reinforced composites, KraussMaffei now offers a wide range of machine and mold technology, for example FiberForm or the long fiber injection (LFI) process.
The event will also focus on direct processing in an injection molding compounder. An injection molding compounder is especially suitable for large-series production, for example of front end and instrument panel supports, door modules, insulating mats and other noise absorbers. It is therefore predestined for these application areas. The materials are mixed and the components are produced in one machine. The matrix polymer is initially plasticized in a co-rotating twin-screw extruder and mixed with aggregates. Only then are the reinforcement fibers added to the polymer melt. The actual injection molding process then takes place via the injection piston. Thanks to this single-stage process, the injection molding compounder ensures excellent melt homogeneity and a mixing effect, as well as high injection volumes and superb part quality. Components can therefore be combined with any fillers, reinforcement materials and substitution materials.
After KraussMaffei and Proper agreed a strategic partnership for the USA in 2010, they were joined by Kiefel, another renowned plastics expert, at the end of 2012. The three companies pool their know-how in the area of automotive applications, especially for vehicle interiors, in a technology center at the plant in Warren. The capacities extend from mold design, injection molding, foaming, stamping, laser cutting and vacuum lamination through to prototype construction and the provision of technical advice to customers.