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21st January 2019, Steffenberg

Roth lab runs successful lightweight prepreg tests

The modular construction and the open, design offer an excellent operability, the company adds. Measuring systems, for example for coating thickness measurements or surface inspections, can easily be integrated. Depending on the layers and the characteristics of the fibre materials, prepregs in all conceivable thicknesses can be manufactured. © Roth Composite Machinery.

Depending on the layers and the characteristics of the fibre materials, prepregs in all conceivable thicknesses can be manufactured. © Roth Composite Machinery.

Roth Composite Machinery is now offering customers and potential customers, laboratory facilities for carrying out preliminary tests and process development for the manufacture of prepreg and organic sheets.

Since commissioning in 2017, customers have successfully made use of the laboratory for production tests, the company reports. In recent trials, Roth has produced Lightweight Prepregs (particularly light semi-finished fibre composite materials) with a fibre surface weight of 75 g/m².

“Such semi-finished fibre composite materials with pre-impregnated, partly cured or thermoplastic matrices can be processed to finished products in later working steps,” Roth explains. For the current test at a process speed of 15 m/min, Roth used 12 K 800 tex carbon fibres and hot-melt epoxy was employed as a matrix material and used in prepregs with a resin surface weight of 25 g/m² and a width of 255 mm. The Laboratory Line currently offers a fibre spreading unit with a working width of up to 600 mm.

Numerous application

The Steffenberg based company develops machines for the manufacture of prepregs according to individual customer requirements, which are suitable for applications in the sports and leisure, aerospace, automotive, ship and boat building, building and bridge construction sectors. Roth Composite Machinery has more than 50 years know-how in the manufacture of prepreg plants and has invested roughly EUR 1million in its laboratory line.

Roth Composite Machinery has more than 50 years know-how in the manufacture of prepreg plants and has invested roughly EUR 1 million in its laboratory line.

Roth Composite Machinery has more than 50 years know-how in the manufacture of prepreg plants and has invested roughly EUR 1 million in its laboratory line. © Roth Composite Machinery.

Variable testing possibilities

In consultation with Roth Composite Machinery, business partners and raw material producers have the possibility to carry out optimization or processing tests as to their current matrix systems or regarding new systems, fibres and fabrics without having to interrupt their own production processes. Roth’s Prepreg Laboratory Line can process duromers as well as thermoplastic matrix systems up to 400 °C.

The Roth process using the Rothabow technique is based on calendering technology by using two calenders. Trials with thermoplastic matrix materials but also with duromers with layings or fabrics of all kinds of fibre systems, such as carbon, glass or Aramid are possible. The company is able to produce multilayer composite materials made of fabrics, fibres and films by using the laboratory line.

A powder dosing unit for the processing of powder or granulate instead of a foil can also be integrated. As application systems for the matrix, Roth provides the comma blade or the Foulard method for selection. In addition, the modular construction and movable application unit enable the use of alternative, customer-specific application systems. Roth’s plant also offers a spool creel with 80 spool positions, eight unwinders, three rewinders as well as a special fibre spreading unit.

The modular construction and the open, design offer an excellent operability, the company adds. Measuring systems, for example for coating thickness measurements or surface inspections, can easily be integrated. Depending on the layers and the characteristics of the fibre materials, prepregs in all conceivable thicknesses can be manufactured.

Test runs for coating and laminating

Due to the configuration and modular construction of the laboratory line, test runs for coating and laminating processes are also possible. Roth Composite Machinery offers direct and indirect coating methods by means of comma blades, impregnations by using the Foulard system and squeezing rollers as well as multilayer laminations with pre-tempering systems via surface heating or infrared radiation.

www.roth-composite-machinery.com

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