05/22/2012

www.gupta-verlag.de/polyurethanes

KraussMaffei celebrates 45 years of polyurethane processing expertise

"KraussMaffei is a forerunner for using this material in plastics production. Thanks to years of experience, an up-to-date, premium-quality machine portfolio and a large store of technology and procedure expertise, we've developed into a worldwide market leader," explains Nicolas Beyl, the Reaction Process Machinery Division Head at KraussMaffei since February 2012. The company focused on high-pressure processing of polyurethane from the beginning. In close cooperation with raw material manufacturers and processors, new fields of application, machines, and methods are still being developed constantly to this day. "We want to strengthen our activity in the area of reaction process machinery globally and to demonstrate additional application and efficiency potential for our customers along their entire value chain. In particular, we want to draw them to us using combinations of machines and methods for injection molding and reaction process machinery and by using new technologies," explains Beyl. According to KraussMaffei, these strengths recently received positive feedback at the NPE 2012 trade show in Orlando, FL, USA. The manufacture of an armrest using the SkinForm process was shown. In one machine, the injection-molded carrier was flow-coated with a foamed aliphatic type of polyurethane with pleasant surface characteristics and outstanding UV resistance. "KraussMaffei's extensive Technology3 expertise across the entire process chain was apparent at this machine. The machines, automation, mold technology, and custom solutions were all from our company and unified our expertise," explains Beyl. Furthermore, the company wants to advance new innovative solutions in growth fields, including the areas of lightweight construction and fiber composite technology. "In recent years we have been able to win numerous orders in these areas worldwide. We also have a worldwide one-of-a-kind expertise center in this area, the fiber composite technology TechCenter we opened in Munich in 2011," says Beyl. Thirteen companies were honored with a JEC Europe Innovation Award this year as part of the JEC trade show. The development consortium headed by the Fraunhofer ICT was able to distinguish itself among the companies. The SCS process (structural component spraying) premiered in the category of production processes. It is a manufacturing process for lightweight structures based on sandwich structures and spray processes for glass-fiber reinforced polyurethane resins. In addition to KraussMaffei, partners Bombardier, Fraunhofer ICT, Bayer MaterialScience DEC, the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts, the University of Stuttgart (IFB) and the Institute for Technology in Karlsruhe (wbk) were responsible for the manufacturing process and were distinguished for extensive developments along the entire value chain. Sandwich core materials, cover layer materials, manufacturing processes, fire protection systems, design principles and calculation methods were developed for this sandwich structure demonstration component with a length of 4.5 m and a width of 2.5 m. The design with identical interfaces using glass-fiber reinforced polyurethane sandwich structures makes it possible to reduce the weight of the safety enclosure while simultaneously reducing the number of components. Despite this, all of the requirements are met, such as dielectric strength. An overview of KraussMaffei's milestones in the area of processing polyurethane: First developments and trials for manufacturing polyurethane furniture1968   First special clamping unit with two rotating axes, called "moon-swing"1970   Presentation of the first KraussMaffei mixing head in successful production use1972   First self-cleaning mixing head in the world with a recirculation groove1973   Export of the first polyurethane bumper system for an automotive industry customer in the USA1974   Delivery of the 100th polyurethane metering machine1981   Delivery of the 2000th mixing head 1982   First transfer mixing head in the world and first twin-piston metering machine1984   First dual-hardness soft foam system1985   The 4000th mixing head of the families, which included 18 types at that time, is delivered 1985   Delivery of the 50 KK machine with metering outputs of up to 8000 cm³ per second1989   Largest piston metering machine in the world with up to 16,000 g/s 1991   Development of the polyurethane recycling process; introduction of continuous gas charging 1992   The in-mold coating process for an undercoat in a foam mold is presented at the K trade show1993   Systems for CFC-free foams1994   Series system for carpet back-foaming1995   Initial presentation of the LFI polyurethane process unit at K1996   Start of lightweight design activities, first system for GRP components1999   LFI production system for the smart roof2002   Founding of the "white goods" expertise center in Abbiate Grasso, Italy2005   First skin spray head in production use2004   The SkinForm method is presented at K for the first time2005   Start of mold-building activities for polyurethane, milling and custom solutions 2006   Development and presentation of the first small-quantity, high-pressure mixing head2007   Large-scale SkinForm system for manufacturing interior door panel sections at K2010   Presentation of the ColorForm process at K2011   Opening of the world's largest TechCenter for fiber composite technology (lightweight construction) in Munich; complete HP-RTM system for manufacturing CFRP components2012   45 years of KraussMaffei reaction process machinery; first live demonstration of polyurethane processing at NPE in the USA

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