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Surface Generation provides ETH Zurich with advanced composite processing test rig

News International-French

9 Jan 2013

Surface Generation, a provider of advanced processing technologies, today announced that it has provided the Centre of Structure Technology (IMES-ST) at ETH Zurich, one of the world’s leading Universities, with a highly sophisticated test environment for liquid composite injection moulding.

Surface Generation’s custom-built test rig is the first to precisely mirror production line processes while enabling researchers to visually observe resin flow in real-time. IMES-ST and its multi-national research sponsors can watch the injection stage of textiles at much higher temperatures and pressures than previously possible.


Localised thermal management and intelligent moulding technologies allow resin flow to be directed as required and ensures accurate experimental conditions by eliminating temperature errors and reducing rig deflection. It enables more accurate flow models to be developed and validated, enhancing the predictability of future composite processing solutions.


Ben Halford, Chief Executive at Surface Generation, comments: “The test rig we’ve built for ETH Zurich is a significant advancement for the carbon composite research community. The University will be able to quickly and precisely validate complex resin flow scenarios, accelerating development and improving the efficiency of production processes. It’s a vital step towards enabling true mass production of carbon composite parts.”


Dr Florian Klunker, Composite Materials and Adaptive Structures at ETH Zurich, comments: “Liquid composite moulding injection processes with intelligent temperature management allow carbon fibre structures to be created more quickly and at lower cost than conventional techniques. They are of significant interest to high volume automotive manufacturers, which want to use carbon composite parts in their next generation of mass-production vehicles. Accurate testing is vital to ensure parts are created right first time and without defect.”


Surface Generation’s innovative test rig uses its patented Production to Functional Specifications (PtFS) process, encompassing a range of active thermal management technologies, to control and vary temperatures to the precise requirements of each mould area and process stage. The unique process removes the need for large capital equipment, improves work flow and enables production of larger and more complex designs.


About Surface Generation

Surface Generation is a carbon composite processing company based in Rutland, United Kingdom. Its patented ‘Production to Functional Specifications’ (PtFS) process is used to combine, compact, process and meld composite materials far more efficiently and with much greater precision than is possible using traditional autoclave or oven processes. Its technologies are used by component providers and manufacturers across a range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, defence and leisure.



About ETH Zurich, Centre of Structure Technology (IMES-ST)

The ETH Zurich is a technical university, ranked among the first 20 in the world, doing research in various fields. The ETH Zurich Centre of Structure Technologies is promoting science and innovation in the areas of functional materials, innovative composite solutions and structural mechanics by exploring the relation between materials, manufacturing and design of composite based structural systems with better performance and novel functionalities.



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