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Riba Composites invests in a production plant for HP-RTM and press moulding technology

News International-French

30 Nov 2016

Riba Composites, an Italian manufacturer of structural parts and components in advanced composite materials for the automotive and aerospace industries, invested in a new Cannon production plant for HP-RTM and press moulding technology.

Specialized in hand lay-up and autoclave production of composite parts for low-medium volume applications, the northern Italy based Riba Composites needed to expand its range of services in the automotive and aerospace industry. With the series production and the unit prices common for the mainstream production industry being not compatible with the existing equipment, the company decided to explore the possibilities offered today by high-productivity technologies such as HP-RTM / Press Moulding.

High productivity HP-RTM / Press moulding

The solution includes the machines required for high-productivity manufacture of Composites using the HP-RTM process with epoxy resin matrix and carbon fibre reinforcement:

  • A three-components E-System high-pressure dosing unit for Epoxy formulations, with one LN 10 three component mixing head and closed-loop control of output and ratio.
  • A short-stroke press with 25,000kN clamping force, 3.6 by 2.4 m platens and a very precise active control of parallelism for guaranteed planarity of the moulded parts.

On top of HP-RTM, this equipment enables other manufacturing technologies as well: prepreg press moulding, BMC and SMC moulding.

Two lower platens shuttling on the front and rear sides of the press allow for an ergonomic and precise service: while one side is curing a moulded part, closed in the press, the other is available for part demoulding, visual inspection and cleaning of mould, positioning of carbon fibre layers, etc.

Cure time for HP-RTM parts can vary, increasing the mould temperatures, from 180 to 90 seconds, while injections are typically performed in less than 30 seconds, with a trend to reduce both values to increase productivity. The two-shuttle press design allows for a substantially higher efficiency, since the press is closed for most of the time, while one or two operators attend the service functions in the same time requested by the “press closing - resin injection - curing” sequence of operations.

Through this advanced equipment for HP-RTM / Press moulding, Riba Composites, a very qualified manufacturer of high-end Composites for low-medium volume market applications, is now ready to enter in the very competitive arena of Tier One suppliers of CFRP parts for the automotive & aerospace industries.

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