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High-end composite sheet production on Sandvik’s continuous press process

News International-French

11 May 2012

Press and steel belt manufacturer Sandvik will use the JEC show to highlight the benefits of its double belt press technology and the advantages of a system which enables pressure, heating and cooling to be incorporated into in a single continuous process.

Sandvik’s systems are widely used in the production of pre-pregs out of fiberglass and carbon fiber, and also for the compression of glass fiber/carbon fiber mat, web or cross-ply with thermoplastics. These high end composite sheets have applications across the automotive and aerospace industries, and are also used in consumer goods such as suitcases or sports articles.

The ability to carry out all the stages of production – heating, reaction, pressing, cooling and confectioning – in one continuous, short cycle system has obvious benefits in terms of productivity. Sandvik’s process also enables the accurate control and adjustment of each stage to deliver a high quality end product.


The inherent strength and outstanding thermal properties of steel make it the ideal material for high pressure processing, while its flat and hard surface ensures a smooth finish to end products.

Sandvik manufactures both isobaric and isochoric double belt presses. The former applies a constant pressure and is ideal for the production of thin products and composites, including fiber-reinforced plastics, decorative laminates, floor boards and extruded board. The latter maintains a consistent press gap which is irrespective of pressure and is used for sheet casting (e.g. artificial stone, marble tiles), sheet moulding and laminating application.

Sandvik has also partnered with TechnoPartner Samtronic GmbH (TPS) on the development of a hybrid press that makes use of both steel and PTFE belts. The innovative ‘CombiPress’ differs from Sandvik’s usual double belt presses in that steel belts are only used in the forming section where their strength and thermal properties are essential; elsewhere, non-stick PTFE belts are used, reducing overall investment costs.