Tajima's fibre laying machine.
Tajima's fibre laying machine.
The Busch Vac Inject VI 0040 F vacuum system.
The Busch Vac Inject VI 0040 F vacuum system.
METYX quadraxial reinforcement.
METYX quadraxial reinforcement.
Dolphin made from Sika's Biresin CR80, demonstrating the production of complex geometries.
Dolphin made from Sika's Biresin CR80, demonstrating the production of complex geometries.
Collano's reactive hybrid adhesives are used in vehicle construction.
Collano's reactive hybrid adhesives are used in vehicle construction.
Selcom's textiles are used in the preservation of monuments and infrastructure.
Selcom's textiles are used in the preservation of monuments and infrastructure.
Dekumed's UNIDOS 300 Infusion metering machine is used in boatbuilding and in the manufacture of rotor blades for wind turbines.
Dekumed's UNIDOS 300 Infusion metering machine is used in boatbuilding and in the manufacture of rotor blades for wind turbines.

In this preview we review some of the exhibitors at this year's show.

Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems

Busch is highlighting its R 5 rotary vane vacuum pump, which it says is ideal for closing and evacuating moulds in resin injection processes. R 5 pumps are available in installation sizes of 3–1600 m3/hour and can therefore be used with both small and large moulds. With a final pressure of 0.1 mbar (corresponding to a vacuum of 99.99%), the pumps guarantee that the resin penetrates quickly and fully into the mould. Any air bubbles or gases forming are removed from the resin, thereby guaranteeing high product quality. R 5 pumps are designed for continuous use and are therefore robust and fail-safe. There is the option of adding an activated carbon filter which prevents the emission of any odour.

Busch claims its R 5 rotary vane vacuum pumps have become the international standard in the processing of composites. Alongside the vacuum pumps, Busch also offers standardised vacuum systems consisting of one or more R 5 rotary vane vacuum pumps mounted on a vacuum container. These systems have up to eight vacuum connections to which the vacuum lines from one or more moulds can be connected. The vacuum required to close the mould can be drawn from one of these connections. Each connection has an independent vacuum control valve allowing the height of the vacuum to be individually adjusted at each point of the mould. The vacuum container guarantees the constant provision of sufficient suction capacity, even in the largest moulds. By using a vacuum container, it is possible to use a relatively small vacuum pump, making these systems an economical solution. Busch vacuum systems are compact and mobile.

METYX Composites

METYX Composites manufactures high performance reinforcement materials for many industries, including marine, wind, automotive, pipe, construction, and sporting goods. Its high performance multiaxial range includes unidirectional, biaxial, triaxial, and quadraxial fabrics, all of which are available in E-glass, aramid, carbon, and hybrids.

The company also supplies a wide range of core materials designed to fit all tooling requirements, including high drapeability for complex parts and high resin flow for large-scale applications. At COMPOSITES EUROPE, the company will highlight METYCORE, a product group designed for resin transfer moulding (RTM) and Light-RTM processes. The product range's benefits include high drapeability, excellent resin flow, and custom widths.

METYX also distributes composites-related products such as mould releases, resins, cleaners, adhesives, vacuum infusion materials, RTM equipment and tooling materials. It also offers consulting services, specialising in vacuum infusion technology, structural engineering support, mould release technology, and RTM technology.

De IJssel Coatings

De IJssel Coatings produces unsaturated polyester gel-coats, topcoats and pigment pastes in the Benelux. At COMPOSITES EUROPE the company is introducing its extended range of products for vacuum injection, flexible gel-coats and gel-coats with improved UV stability. For new building, repair and maintenance of GRP products it is introducing a cost-effective dispensing machine for two-component epoxy fillers and epoxy adhesives. This machine ensures the correct mixing ratio between base and hardener, reduces waste during mixing and saves labour time. De IJssel Coatings supplies three grades of epoxy fillers and one type of adhesive to suit customer requirements.

Sika

Sika's product range includes high-performance epoxy resin systems, which feature optimised viscosity for several applications and different temperatures. The systems can be customised on request. Sika will also present its new epoxy tooling board with the appropriate auxiliary package of adhesive, cleaner, sealer and optimised semi-permanent release agents.

Sika Tooling & Composites offers a wide range of epoxy and polyurethane-based liquid resins and resin-based board materials for producing models, moulds and finished parts. Products include block materials, model pastes, vacuum casting resins and RIM-Systems, gel-coats, laminating systems and a large number of epoxy and polyurethane-based casting resins.

Collano

Collano offers a range of hot melt adhesive films and reactive hybrid adhesives. Multilayer films are a speciality segment within the hot melt adhesive films range. They allow incompatible substrates to be bonded, and also impart additional functionality to composite or sandwich elements — barrier layers that repel undesirable substances, provide sound insulation, or stabilise process phases. Sandwich panel manufacturers deploy multilayer films to split prelamination and completion into two separate thermal cycles. In most cases, this does not lead to increased costs and improves the reliability of the bond.

SELCOM Multiaxial Technology

Selcom produces uni-, bi- and multi-axial reinforcements (NCF) in glass, carbon, aramid, and other special high-tech fibres for the advanced composites industry. The company serves a wide range of markets, including wind energy, boatbuilding, offshore, transportation, sports articles and multiple industrial applications.

Since the mid ‘90s, Selcom has been developing manufacturing engineered textiles for use in the preservation of monuments and historical landmarks, infrastructure and retrofit of unreinforced or damaged masonry structures. Thanks to this experience Selcom was invited to become a partner of an EU project named POLYTECT (Polyfunctional Technical Textiles against Natural Hazards). These textiles are envisioned to provide both reinforcing strength and monitoring capabilities for masonry structures, geotechnical and composites applications. An important objective of the project is to create a technologically superior product that gives Europe a competitive advantage in the textile industry, establishing both innovative leadership and job growth. Selcom's role is to provide expertise on the production and optimisation of NCF reinforcements and development of multifunctional textiles, integrating sensors and nanotechnology. During COMPOSITES EUROPE, Dr Ing. Donato Zangani from DAPPOLONIA, the coordinator of POLYTECT will give a presentation of the EU-funded project.

Zyvax Inc

Zyvax will be highlighting its QuickSkin product, a sealer for porous substrates, which has been developed to support the demands for fast turn-around in moulding tools, from building masters to producing short run parts using machinable tooling block, polyurethane foams and other porous machinable substrates.

Benefits of QuickSkin include:

  • room temperature cure;
  • excellent finish in just a few hours; and
  • no sanding or post-curing is required.

Tajima GmbH

Tajima will be exhibiting its TSCM series of fibre laying machines, which feature higher running speeds. The laying process can be further automated and simplified with the new machine. A component is generated virtually on a PC and the file is sent to the machine before the actual production process starts. A fibre strand (roving) is laid in front of a sewing head and fixed with needle and thread on to the bedding layer. The fibre strand can be made up of glass, carbon, aramid or natural fibres. A pantograph moves the basic material via NC in the X and Y directions, as well as a combination of both. At revolutions of 600-800 stitches per minute, up to 1 kg material per hour can be laid per laying head according to the strength of the fibre strand. Compared to conventional textile technologies the advantage is, that the roving can be arranged in any optional direction – that is an angle between 0 and 359°. The preform generated in this way is processed using the RTM technique.

The big advantage of the laying machines is that a process which has so far been executed manually can now be automated.

By means of a special frame changing system it is also possible for all laying devices to work almost continuously. As each machine can be constructed with up to 20 laying places, 20 parts, which are exactly the same, can be produced at the same time. The processing speed depends on the size and complexity of the components.

Dekumed GmbH & Co KG

Dekumed will exhibit its in meter, mix and dispense technology, including high-precision systems for low-viscosity and thixotropic systems. Dekumed systems allow anything from the tiniest quantities right up to several tonnes to be handled in a single application.

At COMPOSITES EUROPE, Dekumed is showcasing its UNIDOS 300 Infusion and UNIDOS 200 TX CF models for the composites market. UNIDOS 300 Infusion is a two-component, high-precision metering machine, featuring facilities for transferring process data. It is used for processing two-component epoxy infusion resins and is capable of handling up to 30 kg/minute. Its main areas of application are in boatbuilding and in the manufacture of rotor blades for wind turbines. The UNIDOS 200 TX CF two-component metering and mixing machine is used to process two-component thixotropic adhesives or two-component core fillers. In common with all the models in the UNIDOS series, this machine can also be efficiently incorporated into an automated environment and can be equipped with process monitoring capabilities. Its main fields of application are in the boatbuilding, aviation and automotive industries.

SAERTEX GmbH & Co KG

SAERTEX develops and produces multiaxial fabrics (NCFs) made of glass, carbon, aramid and other fibres to meet the individual demands of each application – wind energy, boats and ships, aircraft applications, automotive parts, sports and leisure, railway systems, pipe relining and concrete reinforcement.

Recent examples of SAERTEX developments are: SAERtow®: a lightweight carbon fabric for maximum functional performance in the automotive and aerospace sector; SAERcore: stitch-bonded complexes with a built-in resin flow zone for usage in closed mould technologies, eg. RTM; and SAERfix® EP and SAERfix® UP: self-adhesive SAERTEX fabrics finished with tailor made adhesives compatible with either EP or UP resin matrixes.

SAERTEX also supplies its fabrics in pre-cut shapes (‘kits’) as well as preforms and complete composite parts.

assyst Bullmer Spezialmaschinen GmbH & Co KG

asssyt Bullmer will exhibit its PREMIUMCUT cutting machine with modular tool system. As well as its seven mechanical cutting tools the machine offers an ultrasonic knife, a melting device activated by ultrasonic technology, and a grinding device for bonded seams. The machine can be connected to the company's automatic material feeding systems.

AVK conference
The 11th International AVK Conference will be held alongside the COMPOSITES EUROPE exhibition for the third year. The conference takes place on 22–23 September in the Congress Center Ost, Messe Essen exhibition centre.

This year's AVK conference will incorporate the 6th N-FibreBase Conference on Biomaterials.

From its range of software programs, assyst Bullmer will demonstrate the CAD-Software Suite tech.assyst, developed for the processing and nesting of two-dimensional forms as preparation for the automatic cutting process. The package can be supplemented by the option automarker.com, the Internet based, automatic cutting plan creator and data converter. This is a Software-On-Demand product that will raise the value of the profit and loss calculation by improved material economy as well as the enhancement of the user life-cycle-analysis by the abolition of local computers.

IQ Tec GmbH

IQ Tec produces laminate materials made of fibre reinforced plastics (FRP). These include semi-finished products made of FRP (SkinTec), which are used among other applications in thermoformed structural parts. Another product area is sandwich panels, which are on the one hand unique as a result of their technical and thermally insulating properties (Thermotec), and on the other hand are applicable in lightweight structural applications (PanTec).

SkinTec, ThermoTec and PanTec products replace conventional composite solutions in a diverse range of applications in the truck and trailer industry (bodies, walls, floor panels, cladding), in the machine building and construction industry, trade fair construction, as well as in the furniture industry. The products can be produced in widths of up to 3000 mm, and in customised thicknesses and lengths.

COMPOSITES EUROPE partners

COMPOSITES EUROPE is organised by Reed Exhibitions Deutschland in partnership with the European composites industry association EuCIA  and Reinforced Plastics. For further information please visit the COMPOSITES EUROPE website.