CAMX 2017 preview: Cold Jet
Cold Jet LLC (Loveland, OH, US) is providing dry-ice cleaning demonstrations in its booth. The demos use Cold Jet’s i³ MicroClean, which features dry ice blasting technology, a non-abrasive cleaning method that provides a composite tool-cleaning solution that is fast, delicate and does not use chemicals or solvents. Designed around Cold Jet’s patented shaved dry ice technology, the i³ MicroClean repoertedly enables the cleaning of intricate cavities that other methods cannot reach. The MicroClean system, says Cold Jet, extends the life of equipment by eliminating the need for chemicals, wire brushes and abrasive pads, and allows for increased cycles between preventative maintenance. Tooling used for, but not limited to, compression molding, resin transfer molding, extrusion, prepregging and wet layup are suitable applications for dry-ice blast cleaning. Booth Q68.
ATL and AFP-based preforming options now abound for processing dry and/or impregnated reinforcements as quickly as 1 minute or less with potential yearly part yields in the millions.
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.
Boeing and Airbus each is generating as much as a 1 million lb of cured and uncured carbon fiber prepreg waste each year from 787 and A350 XWB production. If you include the entire supply chain for these planes, the total is closer to 4 million lb/year. And with the automotive industry poised to consume (and waste) more carbon fiber than ever, recycling of composite materials has become an absolute necessity. The technology is there, but the markets are not. Yet.