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23rd November 2018, Munich

Cost effective process for composite rebar

During 2018, KraussMaffei has commissioned a second pultrusion system at the TechCenter of its Reaction Process Machinery division in Munich, expanding its expertise in the field of pultrusion – the process for continuously manufacturing fibre-reinforced plastic components.

The newly-developed rebar system is ideally suited for manufacturing fibreglass-reinforced rebar for concrete elements in the construction industry. Together with the first system – an iPul unit for flat sections – KraussMaffei now offers customers a unique research environment in which to develop and test new processes and applications in pultrusion.

KraussMaffei now offers a rebar pultrusion system in addition to the iPul system for flat sections. © KraussMaffei

“Pultrusion is a simple way to produce cost-effective profiles,” says Sebastian Schmidhuber, head of development for reaction process machinery at KraussMaffei. “There are hardly any turnkey offers and it is a growth technology. In addition, we are knowledgeable about fibres, metering technology and associated process technology.”

The iPul system launched in 2017 opened up new applications in pultrusion, with significantly higher production speeds than the usual conventional tub or pull-through processes.

The new pultrusion system is for extruding pultruded rebar based on epoxy and reinforced with glass or conceivably with carbon fibre, offering enormous potential in the construction industry.

“The rebar is corrosion-resistant compared to classical steel reinforcements and as a result, overlaying concrete layers can be considerably thinner,” Schmidhuber explains. “Further advantages include the low weight and consequently cheaper transport, easier handling at the construction site and the fact that the fibre-reinforced rebar can be produced endlessly and wound onto drums at the end of the pultrusion system.”

Corrosion-resistant and lightweight: pultruded rebar has great potential in the construction industry. © KraussMaffei

Typical application areas are in infrastructure, in bridges or in road construction, for example, or in environments susceptible to corrosion in functional buildings.

“The classic production speeds for rebar in the conventional tub or pull-through processes are still at relatively low haul-off speeds, in some cases under 0.5 m/min.,” Schmidhuber says. “We are aiming at up to six times faster speeds to offer a cost-effective alternative to conventional steel reinforcements.”

KraussMaffei has worked closely with Evonik, which has specifically developed an ideally-suited epoxy resin for this application.

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