At the year’s biggest branch meeting, the JEC World fair in Paris (this year from March 14th -16th), the Chair of Carbon Composites (LCC) hosted the "TUM - Composites in Action" area bringing together various industry partners and presenting innovations from the field of composites manufacturing. A varied program of live demonstrations provided visitors with detailed insights into various production processes.
Together with its project partner DEKUMED, the LCC presented the possibilities of innovative ultrasonic mixing technology for use in the low-pressure RTM process. In a composite tool allowing for energy-efficient heating, a tablet holder was manufactured live in minutes. For this purpose, preforms of carbon fiber non-crimp fabrics were used. These were draped via diaphragm forming and automatically trimmed to their three-dimensional shape by a robot. These process steps had already been carried out at the LCC lab in Garching prior to the show. During the live demonstration at JEC, they were placed in the mold and cured with a highly reactive resin system for the finished tablet holder. The ultrasound mixing technology, which was awarded with the AVK Prize last year, developed at the LCC together with DEKUMED, makes it possible for the first time to mix the resin components at low process pressures and at low output rates.
Thus, material systems developed for high-volume applications in the automotive sector can be processed with light and cost-effective RTM equipment and without the use of large and expensive presses. The complete demolding of the finished component, including the resin mixing chamber, allows for the complete elimination of the flushing and cleaning operations. Thus, the newly developed technology enables smaller companies to produce more quickly, reduce costs, and push their productivity to new areas: Welcome to the Future of Low Pressure RTM!