TechDays – New Materials Bayreuth GmbH
On March 16 and 17, 2016, New Materials Bayreuth GmbH (NMB) hosted its NMB TechDays with the headline “From UD tape to thermoplastic composite fibre component in minutes.” The highlight of the gathering was a practical demonstration in which a PA 6 from AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH was used.
Approximately 130 participants, primarily from the automotive industry, took part in the event. What resulted was a trough-shaped demonstrator component, made from thermoplastic unidirectional fibre-reinforced tapes (UD tapes) and overmoulded with AKROMID® B3 GF 30 1 blue (PA 6 GF 30). The demonstrator was produced on an Engel injection moulding machine, the “ESP V-Duo 4400H/4400H/2500V,” with a clamping force of 2500 t, a vertical clamping unit and a sliding table for the lower half of the mould.
The UD tapes used as the starting material were made into preforms. The load-optimised, minimal-waste process was carried out on an innovative multiaxial laying system, which was unveiled to the public for the first time during the event. Following consolidation in a double belt press and contour cutting, the fabrics were then placed on a metal grate (see Figure 1), heated in a paternoster furnace, removed by a robot, placed in the injection mould and finally overmoulded with polyamide.
Figure 1: Preparing the cut-to-size UD tape (photo credit NMB GmbH).
The particular advantages of the UD tapes include the low weight of the components owing to the load-oriented fibre arrangement, excellent recyclability and 3-D formability as well as short cycle times in conjunction with the rapid, low-waste preform manufacturing process.
Figure 2: The final overmoulding process took place in the Engel ESP V-Duo 4400H/4400H/2500V injection moulding machine (photo credit NMB GmbH).
Figure 3: Test specimen made from UD tape with AKROMID® B3 GF 30 1 blue (photo credit NMB GmbH).