Henkel (Rocky Hill, Conn., USA) reported on Sept. 24 that it has worked with machinery manufacturer KraussMaffei (Munich, Germany) to develop a one-minute curing time for Henkel's matrix resin Loctite MAX 2 polyurethane in a resin transfer molding (RTM) process. The significant improvement on the original goal of 5 minutes relates to a performance result achieved for the first time on a high- pressure dosing unit.
This reduction in curing time is a further breakthrough in the development of composite matrix resins for the manufacture of lightweight components in the automotive industry. Loctite MAX 2 is a recent Henkel development – a polyurethane-based composite matrix resin that cures significantly faster than the epoxy products usually employed for RTM. Moreover, due to its low viscosity, Loctite MAX 2 reportedly penetrates and impregnates the fiber material more easily and less harshly than competitor solutions, enabling fast injection times.
“And now, with Henkel’s matrix resin technology competence combined with the high-pressure technology of KraussMaffei, the production of these composites is destined to become even more cost-efficient and reliable,” says Frank Deutschländer, global market manager automotive at Henkel AG & Co. KGaA.
The primary goal of Henkel’s collaboration with KraussMaffei going forward is to achieve further reductions in the manufacturin cycle times of as wide a range of components as possible. “We are confident that, in the near future, we will be able to significantly further develop the high-pressure RTM process through our cooperation with Henkel,” says Erich Fries, head of the Composites/Surfaces business unit at KraussMaffei.
Editor PickGardner Business Index at 54.1 in January
The US composites industry looks as strong as it has since early 2015, with expectations the highest in years.