High-Performance Composites

NOV 2014

High-Performance Composites is read by qualified composites industry professionals in the fields of continuous carbon fiber and other high-performance composites as well as the associated end-markets of aerospace, military, and automotive.

Issue link: https://hpc.epubxp.com/i/405736

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SHOW REPORT N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 | 2 9 SHOW REPORT N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 | 2 9 ing stamped, 1.5-mm/0.06-inch-thick, 66 percent continuous glass sheet and polyamide overmolded with PPA had al- most 30 percent higher stiffness at 90°C than the same beams overmolded with PA 6/6, as evaluated by a three-point bending test. Presently, injection molded, glass f- ber-reinforced parts are most commonly manufactured from thermoplastic pel- lets containing strands of chopped glass fber. Mark Paddock, sales manager for Arburg Inc. (Lossburg, Germany), pro- vided details of a project entailing long fber injection molding from continuous glass rovings. The glass roving is paid out into a side feeder, where it is cut into fber strands in lengths of 15 to 50 mm (about 0.6 to 2 inches). The project used a 275-ton injection molding machine equipped with a specially designed 60-mm/2.36-inch two-stage screw, which carries out both melting of the resin and homogenization and blending of the f- bers into the melt. Arburg claims that analysis of a sample airbag housing made from long-fber granulate showed Read an extended version of this show report online at short.gardnerweb.com/SPEACCE14. L E A R N M O R E @ w w w. c o m p o s i t e s w o r l d . c o m that only 30 percent of its fbers were longer than 2 mm/0.086 inch. Another housing, made using Arburg's method, showed that 50 percent of its fbers were longer than 2 mm, resulting in far better properties. Development and optimiza- tion of the process is ongoing. A twist on long-fber technology was the focus for Alexander Roch, a scientifc staff member and project director in the polymer engineering department at Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Tech- nology (Pfnztal, Germany), who dis- cussed the automotive lightweighting potential for injection molded, long glass fber-reinforced integral foams us- ing "breathing mold" technology. Two material systems, PP-LGF and PA6-LGF, were tried, coupled with chemical blow- ing agents and a physical blowing agent, at both low and high pressure. A gas- loaded melt is injected into a cold mold, forming a solidifed skin with a foamed core throughout the mold cavity, regard- less of part complexity. The sandwich approach saves material in the neutral- axis area and provides high bending stiffness at low surface weight, which, Roch claims, could work for large parts, such as door panels, spare-wheel wells, seat shells/backrests, underbody assem- blies and instrument panel supports. Battery enclosure sparks innovation On display at ACCE was the battery enclosure recently developed by A123 Systems (Waltham, Mass.) for General Motors' Chevrolet Spark battery electric vehicle. The story behind the enclosure design is the subject of an "Engineering Insights" feature in HPC's sister magazine, Composites Technology: "Onboard protection: Tough battery enclosure" (CT October 2014, p. 70) or visit short. compositesworld.com/SparkBEV. 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