T.E.M.A. International (Genoa, Italy) has launched the newest version of its UDPrecise machine for the manufacture of unidirectional (UD) fiber reinforcements like carbon, glass, and aramid fiber types. The latest UDPrecise, operating with its ancillary machine unit, is designed to produce thermoplastic materials. UDPrecise uses a patented multi-spindle creel, feeding rovings into a PLC tensioning system to ensure equal and adjustable tension for all rovings. Fibers are heated by a carbon heating system that allows, the company says, fibers to open up more easily prior to entry into the main machine module. The main module lays and spreads all fibers into a UD web of up to 750 mm width, reportedly without gaps or twist, to run at up to 30 m/min. For heavier UDs, UDPrecise incorporates a patented method of feeding every alternate roving into the tensioning system at a different height. This allows for a controlled overlap of fibers to a uniform thickness. If required, this technology also allows a total overlap of fibers, producing a heavier two- layered UD material.
The ancillary machine unit is designed to accept the UDs directly from the main machine module. Thermoplastic powder can be sprayed onto the UD web; alternatively, thermoplastic foil can be fed onto it. An integral component of the ancillary module is the T.E.M.A. TRT carbon-heated rollers (patent pending), which heat and calendar the thermoplastic material. Surface temperature of TRT rollers can be controlled along the full roller width. The final stage of the ancillary section is its cooling system.