Automation drives innovation- The market for composites continues to develop very dynamically. Important drivers of innovation are automated processes that allow manufacturing that is ready for large series production. In light of this fact, we are continually optimizing our systems and processes while expanding our portfolio - says Erich Fries, Head of the Composites/Surfaces business unit with KraussMaffei. The most recent example is the new iPul pultrusion system, the first complete system for continuous pultrusion of straight and curved profiles. Featuring production speeds up to two times faster than the conventional tub or pull-through process, it opens up completely new markets for pultrusion.
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. The new iPul system by KraussMaffei encompasses this entire sequence and revolutionizes the technology, which has been common for a long time, in two respects. It encapsulates the infiltration of the fibers, which so far mostly takes place in open vessels, in an injection box, which permits the use of fast-reacting systems (epoxy, polyurethane, polyamide 6). And it increases the production speed from the usual 0.5 to 1.5 meters per minute to approximately 3 meters per minute. The new iPul system had its successful live debut during the KraussMaffei Competence Day Pultrusion end of June.