Rucks Maschinenbau introduces continuous compression molding system for organosheets

The company claims this process offers a lower-cost option for the manufacture of organic sheets, while enabling higher pressing forces and temperatures.

Rucks Maschinenbau GmbH (Glauchau, Germany) introduces a continuous compression molding system designed for lower-cost manufacturing of organosheets. According to the company, the system, when compared to traditional double belt presses, enables higher pressing forces and higher temperatures, ranging to 450°C and above.    

The system consists of six stations. The unwinding station prepares the material onto rolls, pressing up to six layers of material into one organic sheet. If necessary, the number of laminate layers can also be increased. A feed table is said to ensure that the layers are aligned correctly, and the current material usage is calculated using incremental length measurement.        

Before the actual consolidation, the material is heated in a pre-press to approximately 100°C and pre-compressed with a press capacity of 3 kN. This is said to enable processing of unusually shaped non-woven fabric in the machine. The material is  pulled semi-continuously through the press together with the separating sheets by the feeder arranged behind the press, achieving theoretical speeds of 200 mm/s. Depending on the number and   thickness of the layers, up to 1.7 m of laminate can be produced per minute.           

The machine’s heating-cooling press, said to have a press capacity of 2,000 kN,  is fitted with a synchronized hydraulic system constructed with four press cylinders featuring power and location control. The press has been designed for plane parallelism of ±0.02 mm, with the option  of  deliberately placing  the heating plates in a  sloping position ranging from 1.5 mm to 1.2 m. The heating plates also are said to have   six individual heating zones over a length of 1,200 mm. They are thermally separated and can reach temperatures up to 451°C. As a result, material-specific heating and cooling curves can be run to form the melt front in the direction of manufacture. For quality control, a thickness measuring device is used to determine the precise thickness  of the pressed semi-finished product at four measuring points using a laser sensor.                              

The final station of the machine is  the  cutting station. Alternatively, the material can also be run with winders on a roll. All six stations are connected to each other on the control side for full automation.                 

According to the company, the machine is capable of processing a wide range of fibers, resins and hybrid non-woven fabrics.