High-tech fibres for high speed runabouts24 August 2009 | By Angela in Automotive Industry, Composite production, Exhibitors, Innovation
Block material is usually used for the manufacture of ultra firm, lighter weight carbon composites. This involves the curing of a combination of epoxy resins, micro glass spheres and a curing agent in an autoclave. When curing the pre-impregnated carbon fibres, a composite laminate is produced in the same shape as the original model. This in turn forms the basis for the pertinent carbon component. Epoxy based composite materials have become the norm especially for high speed use, for example in Formula 1.
Block materials are also becoming the norm not only in high-tech applications, such as those for speedy runabouts, but also in other industries. In addition to the customary automobile industry, examples can also be found in railway and ship building as well as in aviation. In addition, companies in the wind energy sector are increasingly relying on the blocks that are stuck together from slabs in defined standard sizes. At the Composites Europe Trade Fair, which will take place in Stuttgart from 27 to 29 October 2009, high-tech as well as routine applications will be on display.
For example, the automotive sector is a major trading division of First Composites GmbH from Neuwied. In the years since its establishment, a great deal of experience and know-how has been gained both in the construction of prototypes, such as show cars or concept vehicles, as well as for small and medium batches. Components consisting of carbon, glass fibre and aramide fibre reinforced plastics are on offer, which apart from RTM are also produced by means of prepreg and vacuum injection technology. PUR and RIM components are also available.
A new, nano-hardened epoxy adhesive paste with outstanding mechanical characteristics for bonding and repairing aircraft structures of metal and composite materials has been developed by Huntsman Advanced Materials GmbH from Basle, Switzerland. It noticeably exceeds the aircraft specifications for low temperatures, room temperature and relatively high temperatures. Due to its simple handling and long shelf life, Araldite EP1000AB also provides very promising options for additional applications.
With the BD System, the Krempel Group from Vaihingen, offers prepregs that are based on modified epoxy resins with high impact resistance and outstanding dynamic characteristics. These can be processed into high-tensile structural components by means of all the usual processes. The curing range is between 85 and 140 degrees Celsius, the maximum dimensional stability under heat is 125 degrees Celsius.
The Prepreg System BX has an extremely wide curing range from 55 to 185 degrees Celsius and thus fulfils the requirements for a low pressure/low temperature prepreg. It is suitable for the production of structural components as well as for composite fibre tools with a dimensional stability under heat up to 180 degrees Celsius. Here again, all current processing methods can be employed.