High strength with 25% less weightThere’s good reason for increasing demand for plastic components with continuous fibre reinforcement: they offer high mechanical strength with up to 25% less weight than metal components. As a result, economic production of such parts is the focus of a diverse range of research projects. Whereas FFRP components with a thermoplastic matrix are already being industrially manufactured and utilised, developers are currently involved with injection moulding processes for continuous fibre reinforced, lightweight components with a thermosetting matrix. Due to their greater resistance to cold, as well as their greater mechanical and thermal load capacities, thermosetting plastics or superior to thermoplastics in some applications.
Injection moulding permits extensive component complexityFakuma sees itself as the number one technical event for injection moulding. Numerous technology leaders in this sector will be on the scene at this world-class trade fair in Friedrichshafen. The injection moulders with their flexible options and ever more efficient processes are clearly in the majority as compared with 3D printing, foaming, extruding and thermoforming. “There’s no getting around injection moulding if you want to combine lightweight design and highly complex components”, states Fakuma project manager Annemarie Schur. For years she’s been observing an upward trend in the number of innovation drivers, users and experts from this field of technology who are showing up in Friedrichshafen. The trade fair with continuously growing international recognition is taken advantage of by numerous exhibitors in order to unveil their new products to a broad-based audience for the first time.
New materials, high-tech processingHowever, not only the latest materials and their possible uses are showcased in Friedrichshafen. The propensity to invest in new machines and systems remains high, which is making itself apparent in the unbroken interest in manufacturing components and peripherals in the plastics sector. Expert visitors, specialists and decision-makers journeyed to the last event in 2017 from more than 120 countries. 48,375 expert visitors accepted the invitation of the roughly 1900 exhibitors to attend the event in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance where Germany, Austria and Switzerland meet – and the numbers continue to rise. In addition to innumerable participants from Germany and elsewhere in Europe, above all the number of visitors from Asia is increasing.
Source: P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG