Cannon Ergos High Pressure Resin Transfer Molding System for Thermoset Carbon Fiber MaterialsSystem includes two large presses (one for preforms and 2nd for final product), two high pressure epoxy injection systems (one to supply each press), four large ABB industrial robots, associated control systems and a range of peripheral and support equipment.
HP-RTM combines hot compression molding with resin injection. A dry pre-consolidated preform is inserted into the mold mounted in the press. Once the press is closed and at the right temperature, the specifically developed HP-RTM resin is injected at pressures up to to 200 bar, filling the tool and flowing all throughout the preform.
(1) 3600T short stroke hydraulic press + shuttle
Manufactured by Cannon Ergos S.p.A.
Year of manufacture: 2015
Platen Dims 173” x 98”
Daylight Opening 98”
Force 4046 tnf
Max mold weight 110,000 lbs
(1) 300T hydraulic press
Manufactured by Cannon
Serial #: P-0108T
Year of manufacture: 2015
Platen Dims 118” x 114”
Daylight Opening 114”
Force 337 tnf
(2) Cannon E-System 10 High Pressure Dosing Units + Injection Heads
Max Output 170 gms / sec (ea)
Max Pouring Vol 1000 cc
Max Pressure 2900 psi
(1) ABB Industrial Robot IRB 6650S
(3) ABB Industrial Robot IRB 6700
(1) Ingersoll Rand R75N Air Compressor with 1000 gal dry tank
(1) Toyota 7FGU45 10,000 lb fork lift, (?) hours
(1) Walk In Freezer Polar King 8’ x 8’ x 15’L -10° F
Age varies - typically less than 5 years with low hours
Original Cost ~$15 million
(2) Development molds available
Equipment can be used in a variety of processes to make both carbon fiber preforms and finished carbon fiber parts
Material includes a wide range of carbon fiber prepreg, bulk molding compounds, and dry fabrics
See platen dims for part size capability
(2) E-System 10 dosing units + injection heads are included
Speed / cycle time depends on material, process and part geometry; typically 6 - 10 minutes per part, 3 minutes is probably the minimum for this system
The system can accommodate multi-cavity tooling
System is designed for automated part removal; hand removal is possible
Small shop equipment included (band saw, grinder, hand tools)
What are the maximum temperatures (elevated temperatures) that the pre-form and final product were being molded at?
Temperature - Generic answer: most thermoset composite materials have a recommended processing temperature and the N210 system is capable of generating the required processing temps for most materials (with the possible exception of BMI). We used a variety of materials and processes with different temperature requirements:
HP-RTM preforms were made using binder preg material typically processed at 100° C / 212° F. This can be adjusted as necessary eg; hotter temp produces a more rigid preform and vice versa. Note that binder pregs are available from a variety of manufacturers and some use powdered thermoset material while others use thermoplastic; processing temps vary accordingly
HP-RTM injection system temp was typically 100° C / 212° F (ie; the resin delivered to the injection head was at this temp; this reduces viscosity to faciltate flow thru the fiber)
HP-RTM mold temp was nominally 137° C / 280° F but depends on resin manufacturer recommendation and desired cycle time
PCM / SMC mold temp varied according to manufacturer recommendation; typically 120° C / 250° F to 148° C / 300° F
The 300T and 3600T presses are both served by dedicated thermoregulators capable of generating any reasonable mold temperature, and we have processed PCM material at 137° C / 280° F on both systems. I'm not sure of the max temp the thermoregulators and associated plumbing are capable of reaching. The diathermic oil in the thermoregulators maxes out at 345° C / 653° F
What was their intended use for this line, what kind of part were the molds going to be for?
Intended Use: Short cycle production of large, aerospace quality composite parts. We explored a wide range of part sizes, geometries and thicknesses, with and without core.
Is there a way to boost the thermal properties of the part by a post-cure process?
Post-Cure: Varies completely depending on the material being processed and manufacturer recommendation. In our case, the Tg of the material as processed was well above our airframe target so no post-processing was required