Arburg Provides First US Window To Innovative Composite Project

Arburg will demonstrate an interesting lightweighting process that could prove attractive in particular for automotive applications at NPE2015 in Orlando, Florida, March 23-27.

The booth demonstration will include technology under development in Europe for the past two years by an industry consortium headed by the Georg Kaufmann Tech-Center AG (GK-Tech-Center, Busslingen, Switzerland). The project is called LIPA, or “Lightweight Integrated Process Application” and its primary goal is to develop and validate the manufacturing process for large-scale production of composites. The key to boosting the output rate of the process is to improve process control and process automation.

In the Arburg demonstration, a side feeder will incorporate fibers into a liquid plastic melt using long-fiber direct injection molding The advantages of this process are said to include flexibly adjustable fiber lengths of up to 50 mm, a low incidence of fiber damage in the plastic melt and cost advantages compared to fiber-reinforced pellets.

The process will be demonstrated on a hydraulic Allrounder 820 S, operating with a mold from Georg Kaufmann Formenbau. Continuous-fiber reinforced thermoplastic inserts (called “organic sheets” in Europe) are overmolded, creating composite parts that weigh less than 200 g at a length exceeding 500 mm. A six-axis robotic system picks up two organic sheets of different thicknesses from a magazine.

The flat inserts are slightly heated, using a new technology in the gripper system and transferred to a LIPA mold at a specific forming temperature. Here, forming of the inserts and injection molding of the functional and reinforcement elements are performed simultaneously in a cycle time of around 55 s.

Levers for potential use in brake pedal assemblies will be molded from long fiber reinforced polypropylene supplied by Lanxess during an NPE2015 demonstration. (Arburg)

Levers for potential use in brake pedal assemblies will be molded from long fiber reinforced polypropylene supplied by Lanxess during an NPE2015 demonstration. (Arburg)

 

 

 

 

About Doug Smock

Former Chief Editor at Plastics World and Senior Technical Editor Design News
Automotive, Europe, North America, polypropylene, Reinforcing Material, Two-Shot , , , , , ,

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