German machinery and injection molding supplier KraussMaffei Group has unveiled its first complete system for continuous pultrusion, iPul.
During its competence day on pultrusion held June 28, KraussMaffei said the system had a production speed of up to 3 meters per minute. The company had already displayed the technology at the Paris JEC World 2017 show in March.
"It is the easiest way of producing profiles, there are hardly any turnkey offers, and it is a growth sector. In addition, we are knowledgeable about fibers, metering technology and even about extrusion," said Nicolas Beyl, president of the reaction process machinery business area of the KraussMaffei Group, describing the motivation of the company to enter the pultrusion sector.
In pultrusion, continuous fibers — usually of glass, carbon or aramide — are infiltrated with a reactive plastic matrix and formed to the desired profile in a heated mold.
Grippers pull the cured profile continuously and feed it to a sawing unit.
While the process is by no means new, the iPul system, encompasses this entire sequence and, says KraussMaffei, "revolutionizes" the technology in two ways.
Unlike previous methods, in which the infiltration of the fibers occurs in open vessels, the iPul system encapsulates this process in an injection box.
Enclosing the infiltration process in the injection box not only means that fast-reacting systems, such as epoxy, polyurethane, a nylon 6, can now be used, it also increases production speed from the usual 0.5 to 1.5 metres per minute, to approximately 3 meters per minute.
“With this, efficiency approaches the extrusion of PVC, which opens entirely new markets to this technology,” said the Munich-based company.
KraussMaffei said the development of iPul took over one and a half years.