Plastic casting mould for a solid casting. The mould is in the preparatory stage – here it is still without a core insert.
Plastic casting mould for a solid casting. The mould is in the preparatory stage – here it is still without a core insert.
The air-conditioned milling hall at the Bertrandt technical department in Ehningen is kept at a constant 21°C.
The air-conditioned milling hall at the Bertrandt technical department in Ehningen is kept at a constant 21°C.

In order to provide seamless surfaces for design and master models, Bertrandt AG, Ehningen, Germany, is currently expanding its expertise in solid casting technology. With solid casting, a defined wall thickness is cast in line with the contour and thus a seamless surface is achieved. According to Anja Schauser, the company's Technical Press Officer, “composite components are used by us primarily for the construction of prototypes, to be precise for data control models and functional components.”

Bertrandt is a development service provider and turns design and computation in various processes into tangible components. At the coming COMPOSITES EUROPE exhibition (27-29 October 2009, Stuttgart, Germany), the company will present master models for the production of tools and moulds for the automotive and aerospace industries. On a joint stand with Rampf Holding GmbH & Co KG, Grafenberg, Germany, both firms intend to demonstrate their competence in the construction of jigs and fixtures. Rampf is a leading company in the development and production of reaction resin systems and the associated applications technology. Automation, metering technology, casting resins, tooling and mineral casting technology are the divisions within the group of companies.

“We provide information about our extended range of services in the design and production of larger plastic models and fixtures,” Bertrandt’s Schauser states. "In addition, we are of course using the event as an acquisition platform and for network development amongst experts. COMPOSITES EUROPE provides a good environment in which to present the range of services that cover the model making remit.”

Bertrandt will be exhibiting at the trade fair for the first time.  

“We have monitored COMPOSITES EUROPE from the outset,“ she says. "Since we consider the fair to be a good platform for intensive customer discussions and for the presentation of our range of services, we have now decided to participate. The close proximity to Ehningen, where the Bertrandt technical department is located, is also of course a positive aspect.”  

As a development service provider, Bertrandt offers a wide range of individual solutions along the complete value creating chain of product development. The company has expertise in the various development fields: from design, its services extend via model making and electronics, to homologation and thus achieving readiness for production.  

In the rapid technologies sector, rapid prototyping (RP) processes such as stereo lithography, laser sintering technology and printing processes are used. This involves physically building up the designed components by means of various procedures from polyamide powder on the basis of CAD data.

“Where larger quantities are needed, we can produce the designed components in all sizes by means of the classical technologies, such as for example vacuum casting and low pressure injection”, Schauser says.

For model and mould making, milling technology forms the basis for various follow-on processes up to composite tools and components. In the Bertrandt technical department, there is a milling hall that is air-conditioned at a constant 21°C. Several CNC 5-axis milling machines are available there with bench sizes up to 6 m x 3.5 m x 2 m.  

“Our model making is the basis for many additional production technologies,“ Schauser reports. "Apart from large milling machines, we also have available a wide range of model making specific production processes.”
 
“In addition, we produce tools for plastic die-casting or deep-drawing processes as well as master models for electroplating forms and CRP/GRP [carbon fibre reinforced plastic/glass fibre reinforced plastic] tools”, she continues.

Model making is of considerable importance even in times of modern digital systems. At Bertrandt, the range extends from data control models to transparent and sectional models up to mock-up and fitting models.

In the meantime, the company is able to produce shaping plastic tools for components in a size of 12 m x 3 m x 1.5 m. Since seamless design is an important aspect in the automotive industry, the material thus gains additional applications.  

“The manufacturers increasingly use design elements and surface structures in the interior as important differentiation features,“ the press officer explains. "Here the design is a bridge between function and emotion.”

She is unable to provide any information about specific projects due to the confidentially agreements with customers.

COMPOSITES EUROPE 2009
Bertrandt AG will be exhibiting at the COMPOSITES EUROPE trade fair on 27-29 October in Stuttgart. The prelude to COMPOSITES EUROPE 2009 is the International AVK Conference and the 2nd Congress on Biomaterials.

COMPOSITES EUROPE is organised by Reed Exhibitions in cooperation with the European composites industry association EuCIA and international magazine Reinforced Plastics.