A CNC trimmed automotive panel.
A CNC trimmed automotive panel.

Textiles and materials specialist Tencate and tooling company SHAPE have made a technology demonstrator component designed specifically to be press molded using TenCate E732 snap-cure prepregs.

The aluminium press mold tooling was designed and manufactured by SHAPE to enable hot pressing of first-off parts, curing in four minutes. In total the project, from conception to delivery, took nince weeks to complete.

Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is used in a variety of applications by customers of Shape due to its inherent high strength, high stiffness and low mass properties.

‘This snap cure prepreg allows us to cure parts in only four minutes using the heated press equipment installed at SHAPE,’ said SHAPE’s composites and engineering manager, Glen Pascoe. ;We’re very pleased with the surface finish, level of consolidation and speed of development shown on this project. The unique automotive panel geometry has many features such as steep sides, a perimeter flange, recesses and ribs. Final CNC trimming in a bespoke vacuum jig adds further through holes and trims the flange to the correct size.’

‘Working with the team at SHAPE has been a fantastic experience,’ added TenCate’s product manager for thermoset technologies, Jed Illsley. ‘Their adoption of snap-cure out of autoclave materials has been remarkable, producing high quality parts with complex geometries.’

This story is reprinted from material from Tencatewith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.