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RocTool presents new molding technology at JEC World

At JEC World 2016 in Paris on March 8 to 10, RocTool (Le Bourget du Lac, France) will present live for the first time its new molding technology, Light Induction Tooling (LIT). The result of three years of research and development, LIT is now available to key industry segments including aerospace, automotive and transportation, explained Mathieu Boulanger, RocTool CEO.

LIT technology is fully adapted to thermoplastic and thermoset composites. It enables the production of very large parts and allows manufacturers to improve their existing production capabilities. RocTool LIT addresses challenges OEMs encounter in making cost-effective composite parts with quick cycle times. LIT technology does not require any compression press machines or special large forming presses that only a few manufacturers can afford. A light tooling structure integrates RocTool's induction heat technology and is connected to RocTool cooling units.

"With this new ‘out of press' and ‘out of autoclave' technique, manufacturers can increase their capabilities without investing in large-tonnage machines, and OEMs can extend their supply chain for composite parts. Making large composite parts without compression machines, with light tooling configurations and precise temperature control is a game changer," added Boulanger.

By reducing tool thickness and shortening heating and cooling times, cycle times under three minutes can be achieved for various materials. LIT technology enables accurate control over heat ramps, from very fast heating to defined heat rates for aeronautical certified resin systems, which require an overall longer cycle.

"The energy cost is very low and we obtain an exceptional return," said Dr. Jose Feigneblum, RocTool CTO. "Globally speaking, this new RocTool process allows the end user to obtain massive energy savings compared to conventional manufacturing processes. For the JEC World demo mold, the energy consumption remains below 2 kW/h, and a cost per part below 15 cents, therefore much less than using an autoclave," said Feigneblum.

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