ROHACELL® went to the podium twice during the AVK Federation of Reinforced Plastics Innovation Award Ceremony at Composites Germany Conference in Stuttgart on September 21, 2015.
A product of Resource Efficiency Segment of Evonik, Essen, the structural foam for sandwich components of fiber composites was selected by the jury to receive the second place award in one of the three categories, Products and Applications, for the new development "ROHACELL® Triple F – Production-Ready Foam Cores for Sandwich Components.” The “PulPress Process for Large-Scale Production of Complex Fiber Composite Parts,” for which ROHACELL® is used as a foam core, is also among the winners—here, placing third in the Innovative Processes and Systems category.
ROHACELL® Triple F
Sandwich cores for fiber composite parts are currently designed primarily as flat structures. Now, an innovative manufacturing process (particle foams, in-mold foaming IMF), is enabling production of complex, three-dimensional structural cores for industrial-scale CFK sandwich components that, thanks to their extreme strength and temperature resistance, can also be used in efficient curing processes such as high-pressure RTM or wet impregnation. For ROHACELL® Triple F, PMI granules in the desired density are foamed into a finished foam core in a mold. Metallic parts, such as threaded inserts, can be directly integrated during the foaming process. The innovative IMF technology can significantly lower the cost per part by reducing waste, manual work and cycle times, and produce up to 50,000 complex 3D sandwich structures per year fast and efficiently. Customer-specific foam cores are produced by LiteCon GmbH (Austria), a joint venture between Evonik and Secar Technologie GmbH. Renowned European car manufacturers are already using them in series production. Potential applications include car bodies, chassis, and add-on parts. Another potential field of application is aircraft construction, which could benefit from cost-efficient production of large quantities of common parts. Not least, lightweight sandwich cores for sports articles are an increasingly attractive possibility.
The PulPress process is designed for the highly automated, continuous and cost-effective series production of fiber-composite profiles with complex part geometries. Developed by the Composites Project House of Evonik Creavis GmbH together with Secar Technologie GmbH (Austria), it innovatively combines the pultrusion and compression methods, as well as the fiber composite materials and ROHACELL® rigid foam structural core used in the process. Because of its excellent thermomechanical properties, the process is fast and stable in serial production and enables molding of highly complex parts. The process ensures extremely narrow component tolerances and outstanding component properties. Conventional resin systems allow production of over 30 profiles per hour, with a length of approximately 0.5 m. With fast-curing systems, that quantity increases. The PulPress process, therefore, is particularly well-suited to the serial production of cars. Production is about 30–60 percent more cost-effective than with conventional FRP processes (e.g. RTM).
Dr. Kay Bernhard and Dr. Arnim Kraatz (from left) of Evonik received the AVK award for the new development "ROHACELL® Triple F – Production-Ready Foam Cores for Sandwich Components” in the category Products and Applications.
During Composites Europe, the PulPress process will be presented in detail in Hall 7, Demonstration Area D54_E.
You can find additional information on ROHACELL® Triple F and Evonik’s other products for the composites industry in Hall 3, Stand E03 and at rohacell.com or evonik.com/composites.
About Resource Efficiency
The Resource Efficiency segment is led by Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH and brings together Evonik’s activities in specialty chemicals for industrial applications. The Resource Efficiency segment supplies high performance materials for environmentally friendly as well as energy-efficient systems to the automotive, paints & coatings, adhesives, construction, and many other industries. This segment employed about 7,800 employees, and generated sales of around €4 billion in 2014.
Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, operating in the Nutrition & Care, Resource Efficiency and Performance Materials segments. The company benefits from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. In 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion.