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German processor Rehau has opted for the high pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) process to develop high-pressure tanks for hydrogen storage. Processing machinery from KraussMaffei (Munich, Germany) in the form of a Rimstar Compact 8/4 HP-RTM mixing and metering system has been installed at Rehau's new technical center for lightweight construction in Viechtach to develop highly secure reservoirs for the future use of fuel cell technology. The system reportedly delivers short cycle times that would facilitate volume production.

June 26, 2015

2 Min Read
High-pressure RTM process for hydrogen fuel tanks

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Advancing the idea of lightweight construction together: Martin Wippermann, Member of the Executive Board for Automotive, Vice President Veit Wagner and Stefan Tetek, Viechtach 11 plant manager, during the opening of Rehau's new technical center.

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High-pressure injection using an RimStar RTM machine enables the processing of fast-reacting resin systems. This makes it possible to quickly fill the mold for fiber-reinforced components to the benefit of shorter cycle times.

"High-pressure injection using the RimStar series enables the processing of fast-reacting resin systems. This makes it possible to quickly fill the mold for fiber-reinforced components to the benefit of shorter cycle times," says Steffen Bauer, sales manager for reaction process machinery in Germany at KraussMaffei.

Rehau is using the process at its Viechtach site to research new methods for developing thick-walled hollow components in lightweight design, such as hydrogen pressure tanks for vehicles. The goal is to achieve process control capable of supporting large-scale series production.

Collaboration with KraussMaffei began back in the prototype development phase. Initial component tests and mold concept studies were carried out using HP-RTM molding technology at  KraussMaffei's technical center. The results were integrated into ongoing development and formed the basis for the design of the HP-RTM system for Rehau's new technical center for lightweight construction.

Rehau's RimStar-Compact 8/4 HP-RTM is equipped with a MJH 10P-2KVHM mixing head. This reportedly ensures perfect premixing of resin and hardener and works according to the self-cleaning principle that involves release-agent metering at the mixing head.

The plan is to transition technology developed at Rehau from the laboratory to production scale at the Viechtach production location. To accomplish this goal, the company invested EUR3.4 million in special systems engineering within the plant. "This decision is a significant step towards the future for us-to drive the development of new technologies and to make an important contribution to maintaining job security at the plant location," says Martin Wippermann, Member of the Executive Board for Rehau Automotive. "Our customers demand that we lead the way with new ideas and efficient solutions, that we support them in engineering mobility fit for the future, that we develop environmentally friendly systems that reduce resource usage and grow those systems to support series production for the market."

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