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15th June 2017, Steffenberg

Roth Composite Machinery offers new Prepreg Laboratory Line

Roth Composite Machinery offers a new laboratory line for prepreg, as well as organic sheet applications. The manufacturer invested around EUR 1 million in this new plant. In consultation with Roth Composite, customers and raw material producers are able to make trials with new matrix systems, fibres and fabrics without having to interrupt their own production processes for that.

The Prepreg Laboratory Line of Roth can process duromere and thermoplastic matrix systems up to 400 degrees C. By using Prepreg Plants, semi-finished fibre composite materials are produced. These materials can be processed to finished products in later working steps by pre-impregnated, partly cured and thermoplastic matrices, the company reports.

Laboratory line

The new laboratory line is based on the calendering technology by using two calenders up to 400 degrees C. The plant offers a working width of 600 millimetres and a working speed ranging from one to 40 metres per minute.

Laboratory Line of Roth Composite Machinery for the manufacture of prepregs and organic sheets. © Roth Composite Machinery

The machine is said to allow individual research and test runs for all kinds of fibres and resins. Tests with thermoplastic materials, such as duromers, fabrics and fibre systems made of carbon, glass and aramid are possible. The company is able to produce multilayer composite materials made of fabrics, fibres and films by using the laboratory line.

Innovative plant technology

The special Roth technology realises the moving of the prepreg or the organic sheet over two curved heating plates and thus guarantees an optimal heat input, the manufacturer explains. The first calender is installed between the two heating plates and serves for the homogeneity of the prepreg. The second calender at the end of the heating section ensures the finishing of the product.

The heating plates and the calender rollers are equipped with several temperature zones and thus guarantee an optimal temperature control.

The Laboratory Line of Roth Composite Machinery is equipped with a sophisticated unwinding device. © Roth Composite Machinery

In contrast to other customary short and even heating sections being equipped with four calenders, a uniform temperature input and low tolerances as to the product quality are achieved. The small distance between the heating zone and the calender roller serves for low temperature losses.

Test runs for coating and laminating processes

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.

Range of services with individual solutions

When manufacturing prepreg plants, Roth Composite Machinery offers a sophisticated range of services. Depending on the kind of coating required by the relevant application, numerous systems are provided for selection: RRC, comma blade, Foulard bath, powder dosing unit, lamination of thermoplastic films or slotted nozzle application systems. As matrix, for example, hot-melt, epoxy and reactive resins or solvents can be used.

The application system of the Laboratory Line of Roth Composite Machinery is designed as mobile unit. Application systems of customers can be used. © Roth Composite Machinery

The number of spool positions at the spool creel are flexibly selectable according to the special requirements. The standard application offers an inner diameter of the core of three inches – optionally, other dimensions are possible. The tension control is effected via a pneumatic braking device.

The heating plates are heated electrically and are continuously adjustable via several control areas. The heating system is equipped with a high-temperature insulation, as well as a suction unit. In these plants, Roth Composite Machinery is using calender systems having a contact pressure being continuously adjustable up to max. 50 Newton per millimetre. Optionally, the upper calender roller can be pivoted pneumatically or hydraulically.

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