Converting

  • Compactors and Laminators operate by passing a material/substrate (paper, film, fibre, fabric) through a set of rotating rolls. Control of the gap between the rolls and the subsequent pressure imparted to the substrate is key to the function of the compactor or laminator. Often an additional material, such as resin, is added to the substrate, prior to the substrate passing through the compactor or laminator.
  • Coating is the physical process of laying a liquid or solid onto the surface of a paper, fibre or fabric.  The objective is to achieve uniformity of coverage (uniformity of weight distribution) while controlling the variance of thickness of the coating. Coating is most typically seen in prepreg systems for the application of a resin to a paper or film.
  • The choice of spreading technique is customised to suit the process and requirements of the fibre in each application. Customisation is often achieved through lab testing at our facility.

    Spreading is integrated into processes such as impregnation, in order to enhance the penetration of a material into a substrate.

    In other processes, such as Uni-Directional (UD) Spreading, the objective is to achieve a target areal weight so that the material can be integrated into a composite with a tightly controlled fibre content in the composite.

  • Thermoplastic prepreg lines make use of a polymer system that has reoccurring plasticity with heat. The polymer can be heated and reheated multiple times, and typically flows as a liquid when hot. The use of thermoplastics in composites is less wide-spread than thermoset polymers & resins. Thermoplastics are seen as a lower cost, higher production rate alternative to the traditional thermoset prepregs, particularly given that thermoset prepregs, β-stage materials, have a limited shelf life, require temperature-controlled storage, and contain hazardous/noxious materials.

  • Thermoset prepreg lines are the most widely used. Thermoset resins require heat to cure the resin, therefore are sensitive to thermal inputs and dwell times. Thermoset lines produce a material referred to as beta-staged prepreg that, once produced, requires refrigeration to prevent additional curing of the resin.

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