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Krauss-Maffei working with RocTool on LFI

March 16, 2006

1 Min Read
Krauss-Maffei working with RocTool on LFI

Processing machinery manufacturer Krauss-Maffei (Munich) is collaborating with French technology developer RocTool (Bourget du Lac) to integrate the latter firm''s Cage System Technology into Krauss-Maffei''s long fiber injection (LFI) processing cells.

Krauss-Maffei anticipates that Cage System technology could help it reduce cycle time and increase surface quality for LFI parts. LFI is used for processing glass-fiber-reinforced polyurethane parts. RocTool''s Cage System limits inductive heating to a tool''s surface for a faster cycle time.

RocTool has had some heady advances since its founding in 2000. In January 2005, German car manufacturer BMW Group announced it was working with RocTool on integrating the Cage System technology into some composite part processing. Its first-generation resistive heating system for forming electrically conductive composite parts without heating a mold was improved in 2004 with the Cage System introduction. That technology uses electromagnetic inductive heating to form nonconductive materials such as glass-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, sheet molding compound, or other composite materials.

Inductive heaters form a cage around the mold cavity, hence the name CAGE for the new system, and when material is positioned in the mold, an electromagnetic field is created and electrical currents directly heat the mold''s surface, which then transfers heat to the part. No mold preheating is required, and thermosets or thermoplastics can be processed in the same tool.

More on RocTool and its inductive heating technology for high-speed composites processing can be found in articles in the Nov. 2001 and June 2004 issues of MPW. RocTool and Krauss-Maffei will present collaboration results in mid-2006 with a full-scale demonstration.

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