5/1/2010

High Speed Carbon Fiber Molding

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

It’s easy to see the benefits of carbon fiber: light-weight, low density, high tensile strength, low thermal expansion.

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

It’s easy to see the benefits of carbon fiber: light-weight, low density, high tensile strength, low thermal expansion. But material expenses coupled with lengthy process cycle times have made it a costly alternative to metals in the automotive industry. But a French company, RocTool (roctool.com), claims that it has developed an integrated internal induction technology, 3iTech, that provides cycle times that can make automotive panels in a competitive manner.

In the process, molds are electromagnetically heated to 120º C in seconds—or 400º C in minutes—by integrating inductors inside the mold to match the shape of the part to be produced. Not only is heat up fast, but so is cool-down, so repetitive production can occur. According to RocTool, the process is capable of producing high surface quality carbon fiber parts in minutes compared to typical production cycles that can last hours. Faster cycle times equals lower production costs, making carbon fiber a more cost-effective alternative to conventional metals for vehicle parts like hoods, roofs and exterior panels. 

RELATED CONTENT

  • Economy Comes to Carbon Fiber Parts (?)

    Have economies of scale come to the production of automotive parts with carbon fiber materials?

  • The SOLO EV Is Really Being Built

    From the point of view of structural engineering and assembly, electric vehicles are a whole lot simpler than those with internal combustion engines, which probably goes a long way to explain why there are so many startups showing EVs.

  • How Fast Can a Motorcycle Go?

    While we’ve noted that the Bloodhound SSC is being prepared to run for a land speed record, it is worth noting that Triumph Motorcycles has announced that next month it plans to run for a record at the Bonneville Salt Flats.