AUG 2016


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AUGUST 2016 36 CompositesWorld INSIDE MANUFACTURING Given its long history in producing reliable suspension parts from glass fiber prepreg, IFA Composite designed and manufac- tured this new carbon fiber prepreg in-house, using a specially formulated epoxy matrix system. e company uses a smaller volume prototype line and a full-scale inline impregnation line (See Step 2, p. 34 and Fig. 3, p. 33) supplied by Santex AG (Tobel, Switzerland). With a final design in hand and materials selection complete, the next step was preform manufacture. "It is critical that all fiber angles are exact, so we designed a special machine to cut and assemble the prepreg layers," Schulz explains. Currently, only the assembly process is machine supported. Preforms are then placed by hand into a single-cavity tool, which has been prepared using mold release from Chem-Trend Germany (Maisach/Gernlinden). e tool is then closed and the inner silicone bladder is inflated with air. "When we started in 2011, the curing cycle was 40 minutes," says Schulz, "but now it is reduced by half, to less than 20 minutes, using 1 MPa pressure at 130°C." When the part is cured, the liner is removed and the parts are post-cured for two hours. For the current limited-production quantities, molded parts are trimmed and drilled manually. When production volume increases, this will change to CNC- machining, similar to the company's process for leaf springs (see Step 5, p. 35). A Strong Grip on Performance COR-Grip ® Adhesives and Compounds Whether your composite needs are for structural bonding, general fairing, gap filling or surface finishing, the COR-Grip line of products provide exceptional adhesion for a firm bond. COR-Grip also provides the flexural, tensile and compression properties you need – all at an economical cost. Our line of adhesives and compounds feature the superior strength, excellent bonding, low shrinkage and corrosion resistance that your applications require. They are designed for various markets including marine, transportation, corrosion and wind energy. The full line of products includes vinyl ester, isophthalic, fire retardant, and specialty putties and adhesives. For more information, call 1.800.736.5497 or visit . Hufschmied USA 203.988.9426 • Quality without secondary operations • High abrasion resistance • Extremely long service life • Highest process stability – roughing and finishing in one single step • Extreme improvements in cycle time

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