Rucks Maschinenbau introduces continuous compression molding system for organosheets
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.
As composites take a larger part (and form larger parts) in the aerospace structures sector, it’s not just a make-it-or-break-it proposition.
Composites Technology Development's first commercial tank in the Type V category presages growth of filament winding in storage of compressed gases.
Spirit AeroSystems actualizes Airbus’ intelligent design for the A350’s center fuselage and front wing spar in Kinston, N.C.