Press alternates between SMC and RTM processing

Germany-based Siempelkamp's new 2,000-ton down-stroke press can be used to manufacture composites via the sheet molding compound (SMC) process or resin transfer molding (RTM).

Siempelkamp (Krefeld, Germany) reported on July 11 that its machine and plant engineering business unit has received an order for a 2,000-ton down-stroke press including hydraulics, automation and tool shifting table for the production of sheet molding compounds (SMC) and composite parts via resin transfer molding (RTM).

C.F. Maier Kunstharzwerk GmbH & Co KG (Königsbronn, Germany) is the customer and will use the machine to supply fiberglass-reinforced, semi-finished plastic parts for the automotive industry. The press can be changed from the SMC process over to the resin transfer molding process (RTM) in only a few steps. 

In the past, Siempelkamp supplied an RTM press to ACE GmbH and a sandwich press to Elbe Flugzeugwerke. The 2,000-ton SMC/RTM press for C.F. Maier has a highly precise single cylinder control and thus is said to guarantee high quality for different component shapes and geometries.

For approximately 40 years, C.F. Maier has specialized in processing composites for the commercial vehicle, construction machinery and other industries. The company mainly uses the SMC process. With a simple modification, C.F. Maier can change the press over from the SMC process to the RTM process. During the RTM process a fibrous material sheet is placed in the mold, which is then closed. Afterwards, resin is injected via special dosing systems into the mold where it cures under heat and pressure.