KraussMaffei presents continuous pultrusion system

More than 200 visitors witness presentations and the live debut at the KraussMaffei Competence Day Pultrusion.

At its Competence Day Pultrusion on June 28, Krauss-Maffei (Munich) presented iPul, the company's first complete system for continuous pultrusion. KraussMaffei had introduced the new iPul system at JEC World 2017.

Nicolas Beyl, president of the reaction process machinery business area of the KraussMaffei Group, described the motivation of KraussMaffei to enter the pultrusion sector as “it is the easiest way of producing profiles, there are hardly any turnkey offers, and it is a growth sector. In addition, we are knowledgeable about fibers, metering technology and even about extrusion."

In pultrusion, continuous fibers are infiltrated with a reactive plastic matrix and formed to the desired profile in a heated mold. Grippers pull the cured profile continuously and feed it to a sawing unit. The new iPul system by KraussMaffei encompasses this entire sequence and the company claims to revolutionize the technology, which has been common for a long time, in two respects. It encapsulates the infiltration of the fibers, which so far mostly takes place in open vessels, in an injection box, which permits the use of fast-reacting systems (epoxy, polyurethane, polyamide 6). And it increases production speed from the usual 0.5 to 1.5 meters per minute to approximately 3 meters per minute. With this, efficiency approaches the extrusion of PVC, which opens entirely new markets to this technology.

Other presentations by development partners shed light on interesting partial aspects of pultrusion. For instance, Klaus Jansen of Thomas Technik discussed manufacturing curved and irregularly formed profiles. Renato Bezerra from the Fraunhofer IGCV presented the research capabilities of his institute in Augsburg, and Stephan Constantino from Huntsman even went "airborne" with pultrusion. The company collaborates with KraussMaffei in solutions for wind power plants. Wladimir Richter from Evonik explained examples from the construction industry. In a sandwich pane facade, the use of pultruded glass fiber reinforcement (instead of steel) saved a lot of concrete because it was permitted to keep the concrete layer significantly thinner (10 to 15 millimeters) than prescribed by the standards for corroding reinforcements (40 mm). Benedikt Kilian of Covestro explained in his presentation the advantages of polyurethane compared to earlier matrix materials such as polyester (inferior mechanical properties) and competing processes such as extruded aluminum (lower insulation capabilities and geometric stability).