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“Clean” filament winding technology

News International-French

22 Feb 2013

JEC Europe 2013 - A UK consortium has developed an environmentally-friendly filament winding technology for the production of high-performance composites.

Using this new technology, a conventional resin bath is replaced by a custom-designed resin impregnation unit; resin and hardener are stored separately, metered electronically and delivered on-demand to a static mixer connected to the impregnation unit, typically mounted on the traverse-arm of the filament winding machine, close to the mandrel. A precise volume of mixed resin is applied by the system to impregnate the fibre bundle, minimising over-impregnation. This new “clean” technology significantly reduces the volume of solvent required to clean equipment; up to an 80% reduction in solvent consumption has been achieved, along with an equivalent reduction of mixed resin waste. This environmentally-friendly production technique can be retro-fitted to existing filament winding machines.

A variety of thermosets, including faster curing resins, have been successfully trialled with this new filament winding technology, which is adaptable for other manufacturing processes such as pre-pregging and pultrusion. The consortium members are the University of Birmingham, Pultrex, Mouldlife, Halyard Marine, Luxfer Gas Cylinders, PPG Industries, CTM and Bruker. Their aim is to market this technology under license globally. The project started in 2010 with funding from the Technology Strategy Board.

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