Cannon SpA (Peschiera Borromeo, Italy) introduced at JEC Europe 2013 its new Liquid Lay-down process, a high-speed compression molding technology marketed as an alternative to resin transfer molding (RTM) for the manufacture of automotive parts and structures. The system integrates three anthropomorphic robots in a manufacturing cell. It includes Cannon’s High Pressure Estrim metering unit and mixing head, for the dosing of two-component epoxy resin to an airless distribution die for uniform distribution, with laminar flow, of the resin/hardener mix. This is applied directly onto the carbon fiber stack outside the mold. The fabric and liquid resin are then moved to a hot press with parallelism control (for part forming), followed by a low-tonnage cold press (for controlled part cooling). Cannon says the cycle time for this process, from part to part, is five minutes.
Editor PickJEC 2017 – Aiming for Industrialization
The exhibit floor in Paris reflected composites’ move toward high-rate and high-volume production.