As RocTool CEO Alexandre Guichard says, “These new technologies represent a genuine advance in the automotive, electronics and aerospace industries, enabling manufacturers in the composite and plastics processing sectors to get a head start because the technologies meet the requirements of high production rates while preserving a strong qualitative advantage both for weight reduction and surface finish.”
Roctool makes a hybrid injection process for composites/plastics possible without having to use composite sheets or infrared ovens
With its “Hybrid” technology, RocTool combines the advantages of a composite material with those of plastic injection in a two-step moulding process that produces a part devoid of surface defects. And for the first time, composites (TP) and plastics are being formed together in the same induction mould without use of infrared oven or pre-consolidated sheets, considerably improving the performance of the part. Using RocTool’s plastic injection moulds equipped with 3iTech® technology, it is possible to obtain a high-performance part that is ultra-lightweight and devoid of surface defects, giving new design potential to automotive and electronics manufacturers, in particular. “Today, weight reduction is a strong advantage, both in automotive where the impact of new regulations is being felt, and also for computer and smartphone manufacturers, for example. Our hybrid process combines the advantages of a thermoplastic composite for its mechanical properties with those of a plastic injection process for its forming and design potential. Such a combination of high-performance materials offers new possibilities to processors and contractors,” says RocTool’s Business Development Director, Mathieu Boulanger.
Roctool knows how to mould thermoset composites without post-cure in record cycle time
With its high-speed RTM technology, RocTool is now the only market player able to offer thermoset composite part moulding with fast cycle times of only 5 to 7 minutes, without the need for post-cure. “RTM technologies have considerable appeal for all stages of the process. The injection step is made easier, because it functions at low temperature (e.g. better control over filling process, without risk of premature cross-linking and a lower pressure level, reducing the stresses applied to the part). For the curing step, raising the cross-linking temperature reduces the cycle time for an identical or even higher glass transition temperature, while eliminating the need for a post-curing step, which is costly in terms of energy consumption and equipment. And by cooling the part under pressure, it is possible to obtain Class A surface parts even while eliminating the final shaping step. This considerable time saving will enable mass production. Auto builders are very interested in the technology, for example, to produce parts for electric vehicles”, says RocTool R&D Director José Feigenblum.
Since it was established in 2000, RocTool has been developing innovative processes for fast moulding of composite materials and plastics. Two-time winner of the JEC Composites Awards, the company has sold thirty or more licences for its patented induction heating technologies, principally for medium and large production runs. RocToolhas been listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange (Free Market Paris) since early 2008. RocTool’s headquarters and R&D centre are located at the Savoie Technolac technological park in Bourget du Lac (France). RocTool has also opened branch offices in Atlanta (USA), Tokyo (Japan) and Taiwan, and has test and demonstration platforms in France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the United States and Italy.
More information: www.roctool.com