Cannon Tipos and Coriolis Composites merge technological expertise to mold a complex automotive structural part from a single preform

Dosing equipment for precise injection and mold engineering for innovative near to net-shape dry preform for HPRTM CFRP composite part with rapid cycle time

Cannon Tipos and Coriolis Composites merge technological expertise to mold a complex automotive structural part from a single preform

1 minute, 50 secondes

Cannon Tipos, a Cannon Group company, specialized in tooling processes for a wide range of technologies for polymer and composite materials collaborated with Coriolis Composites for the fast and precise high-pressure resin transfer molding (HPRTM) of a near to net-shape dry preform manufactured with Coriolis’ patented automated fiber placement (AFP) technology.

Coriolis Composites is a leader in the supply of AFP robotic equipment and machines which enables the laying of continuous or discontinuous fibers with minimum material wastage, in various orientations, even for complex geometrical surfaces, and has developed an innovative and exclusive process to make dry fiber functionalized preforms of composite parts for a range of industrial sectors, notably aerospace and automotive. 

Cannon TIPOS molds for Coriolis Composites.

“It is only in the last decade that advanced, cost-effective engineered preform technologies have emerged replacing the need for labor-intensive and accurate alignment of several preforms in a HPRTM mold,” said Andrea Castelnovo, Technology and R&D Manager at Cannon Tipos. “The innovative near to net-shape dry preform developed through Coriolis’ AFP process and our steel mold, polished to a mirror finish, and high-pressure dosing machines and injection equipment helped realize a complex body-in-white structural part for local reinforcement using a single preform in a fast and easy process with high productivity and sustainable costs.”

The AFP 2D dry preform is composed of an optimized fiber orientation of unidirectional (UD) non-woven carbon fiber layers (280g/m2 – 8.25oz/yd2 ply) with a 55 percent fiber volume fraction (FVF) – for superior mechanical properties in the final part – and proprietary binding technology compatible with a fast cure epoxy resin system ready to be injected. The functionalization improves formability, permeability, and trimming (3D waterjet) to obtain a net-shape contour and can achieve an overall reduction of up to 50 percent in scrap.

Cannon Tipos engineered the steel mold to withstand up to 120bar (1740psi) thereby avoiding microporosity; to maintain constant temperature to within 2 degrees to ensure optimal resin reaction with the hardener; to minimize counterpressure during the infusion phase and maximize vacuum time to avoid washout and air bubbles; and due to the highly polished cavities fully exploit the surface aesthetics of the final molded part obtainable with Coriolis’ superior preform technology.

The resulting BIW local structural part for series production is undergoing qualification trails. It has a 20 second takt time and displays equivalent mechanical performance when compared to incumbent application while offering up to 80 percent weight reduction.

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