Technology ServicesProcessing of Advanced Composite Materials

Advanced composite materials are made of polymer matrices conveniently reinforced with continuous-fibre meshes. We are currently working on developing this type of materials and their transformation technologies, designing them to match specific industrial applications for producing parts and components with high structural requirements.

Our experience

Our main line of work in this field has focused on the aeronautical sector, starting from the development of projects in partnership with both airplane manufacturers and their main vendors.

This has enabled us to get to know in depth the potential of these materials and gain a lot of experience in the development and commissioning of specific technologies to transform the former, including aspects related to the design and construction of both the equipment and tooling required in processing operations.

 

 

Transformation processes

Our work takes in the different stages of the process:

  • Selection of materials (dies and reinforcers) according to the requisite requirements.
  • Preparation of geometrically complex preforms (woven, 3D fabrics, etc.) from fibreglass, carbon and aramid.
  • Design and manufacture of moulds and tools for obtaining prototypes and pre-series elements.
  • Development of auxiliary processes for gluing and co-bonding structural components.
  • Establishment and optimisation of process parameters supported by validation testing and non-destructive ultrasound analysis techniques.

Closed-mould processes

They are carried out on dry-fibre preforms and require the use of heated matched metal mould assemblies with a seal. Of the diversity of processes included in this category, we are particularly skilled in:

  • RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) processes with slow-curing resins at high temperature and with the structural performance required in aeronautical applications.
  • RIM (Reaction Injection Moulding) processes with multi-component resins, usually fast-curing and thus adaptable to the manufacturing cycles of a greater number of industrial sectors.

We have optimised this type of processes to obtain geometrically complex structures and even hollow structures with cores of structural foam, honeycomb material, etc.

 

 

Open-mould processes

They are more generally applied to preforms made from resin-pre-impregnated fibres (pre-pregs). They utilise a single mould surface, the compaction of the structure being achieved with vacuum presses
  • Curing processes in autoclave so as to program vacuum, pressure and temperature cycles for the curing of large-size structures made in open moulds.
  • Resin infusion processes: we are experienced in the development of liquid resin infusion (LRI) and resin film infusion (RFI) processes for the open-mould processing of dry-fibre preforms.
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