High precision rubber press forming thermoplastic laminates


acronym: MRP
start: 1st Jan 2001
finish: 31st Dec 2003
budget: k€ 640
staff: 2 PhD students
grant: NIVR (NL)
partners: Ten Cate AC, Fokker SP

The manufacturing time of advanced composite products can be reduced significantly by making use of reinforced thermoplastic materials. In Rubber Press Forming, consolidated laminates are reheated (by infrared heating) and pressed on relatively cold tooling, resulting in short moulding cycles (in the order of minutes). This does, however, lead to high temperature gradients during cooling, which causes additional residual stresses. In order to accommodate for the resulting product distortions, the tooling needs to be corrected. The aim of this project is to predict these corrections using Finite Element techniques for both the drape and the cooling stage.