The Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research at the University of Western Ontario has installed a compression molding press and compounding equipment supplied by Dieffenbacher Group (Eppingen, Germany) in order to further research efforts directed at composite materials for use in automotive applications.
The FPC Western is a joint collaboration between Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT, Pfinztal) and the University of Western Ontario (London, ON), which is renowned for its research in materials and surfaces.
Direct long fiber thermoplastic (D-LFT) as well as direct-strand molding compound (D-SMC) processing techniques are among those to be developed at the center when it is fully operational in the summer of next year. D-SMC dispenses with the need to prepare SMC preforms and store them at low temperature. Furthermore, compounding at the press just prior to molding, lowers energy consumption and enhances surface appearance. High pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) will also be investigated at the center....