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Chemnitz installs KM Berstorff line for natural-fiber composite research
Chemnitz Technical University (Hanover, Germany) has installed a KraussMaffei Berstorff twin-screw extruder at its Centre for Integrative Lightweight Technologies (ZIL) to research natural-fiber-reinforced compounds.
October 1, 2009
2 Min Read
Chemnitz Technical University (Hanover, Germany) has installed a KraussMaffei Berstorff twin-screw extruder at its Centre for Integrative Lightweight Technologies (ZIL) to research natural-fiber-reinforced compounds. The ZE 40 A x 50 D UTXi twin-screw line joins a multicomponent rotary-mold injection molding machine, a reaction injection molding (RIM) polyurethane line, and an IMC injection molding inline compounder from KraussMaffei, which has worked with Chemnitz TU since 2007.
The ZIL describes itself as a competence center and research partner for small and medium-sized plastics processing companies, with R&D activities focused on plastics reinforced with long-fiber materials and semifinished textile products. Potential applications include structural elements in the automotive and aircraft industries, as well as in railway vehicles, where the composites can reduce weight and carbon dioxide emissions.
Lothar Kroll, head of the institute, said his operation opted for the ZE 40 UTXi on the basis of its technical features and high flexibility for research applications. The researchers say that with output capacity between 50 and 250 kg/hr, the new ZE 40 A x 50 D allows it to undertake development work as well as small-batch production.
The ZE 40 A x 50 D UTXi features rectangular barrel sections with efficient evaporation cooling. The aforementioned flexibility lies in the system’s patented C-clamp, which allows rapid barrel replacement, with a wide range barrel sections and screw elements available. The machine has an inside/outside diameter ratio of 1.46, which ensures optimum intake volume/torque relation and speeds of up 1200 rpm. The 50 D processing section’s length allows the addition of variable additives, which the center notes is of particular importance when processing extremely sensitive long fibers.
In addition to modification of natural fibers and polymer matrices, Chemnitz TU’s other composite materials research projects include: synthesis and characterization of organic ceramic-matrix precursors; pyrolysis of carbon fiber reinforced polymers to produce ceramic matrix composites; and simulation of composite material properties among others. —[email protected]
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