Stewart Group Holdings (Banbury, Oxfordshire, U.K.) is a U.K. manufacturer of technical plastic molded products for the automotive, industrial, professional catering, packaging, home and gardening sectors. Its Stewart Technical division, which provides bespoke technical molding for the aerospace, automotive, medical and other industries, claims to be the first Tier 1 supplier in the world to create tooling molds from soluble plastics. Having tested this new process extensively, the company says it offers advanced production capability for lightweight, hollow carbon fiber and fiber-reinforced parts. Stewart Group Holdings explains that soluble plastics offer advantages over traditional molding methods: Wax and sand cores are notoriously messy and require disposal, while wooden cores must be burned out. With soluble plastic, once the final product has been cured, the core simply washes away. Traditional plastic cores are left inside the hollow section, which also adds to the final component weight.
Editor PickJEC 2017 – Aiming for Industrialization
The exhibit floor in Paris reflected composites’ move toward high-rate and high-volume production.