In the wet molding process, a matrix material is applied in continuous strips to a flat-lying semi-finished fiber product and then pressed into shape in a mold. Advantages over the established high-pressure process include a shorter cycle time because wetting takes place outside of the mold, the obsolescence of preforming and the option of using recycled fibers. A fully automated system will demonstrate the technology using a test plate made of basalt fibers. A robot equipped with needle grippers picks up the fiber mats and feeds them to the application table, where a handling robot applies the polyurethane matrix using a mixing head (MK 10-2K-RTM) and flat sheet die. The gripping robot places the mats into the mold where the molding and curing process begins. The implemented MX mold carrier with a clamping force of 8,000 kN has three interfaces, with the option to process epoxy, polyurethane or polyamide. A RimStar 8/4 RTM metering machine with polyurethane matrix is also used.
Text Petra Rehmet Photos KraussMaffei