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7th August 2018, Wakefield

Rhodes installs composite forming facility at AMRC

Rhodes Interform, a specialist in bespoke composite and metal forming machinery, has completed the installation and testing of a composite forming facility at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The AMRC’s brief was to design, develop and manufacture a composite press that could do it all as it would be used as a facility to assist a wide range of UK companies to stay at the leading edge of composite development.

The machine will be available for use by companies looking to develop their composite capability through R&D. © Group Rhodes

The state-of-the-art facility, comprising of a 10,000 kN hydraulic press with six axis loading, high pressure RTM, twin die transfer tables, thermal fluid heating system and die splitter, is capable of a wide range of composite forming including open and closed moulding, Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM), prepreg, compression moulding and thermoplastics. The project attracted funding from the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

“This project has been a huge success as a result of great communication, teamworking and collaboration between our team and the AMRC. We are very proud to have manufactured a composite press that will be used by some of the world’s leading manufacturing companies to develop new technologies,” said Mark Ridgway OBE, CEO of Rhodes Interform.

Rhodes Interform, part of Group Rhodes, based in Wakefield, worked very closely with the AMRC team throughout the design and manufacture phase of the project ensuring that the bespoke equipment was delivered both on time and to the client’s exacting specifications.

“It was great to support UK industry to build such a unique and capable piece of equipment. This press will allow us to take on a wide and varied range of projects for many years to come,” commented Darren Wells, AMRC Composite Centre Research Engineer.

The machine will be available for use by companies looking to develop their composite capability through Research and Development. The facility has already been used as part of a successful joint venture to develop the future chassis of a UK based performance automotive company. This project is expected to evolve into full component production, helping to bring hundreds of jobs to the Yorkshire region, the company concludes.

www.grouprhodes.co.uk

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