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Composite press

The Centexbel composite press is perfectly suited to treat both woven and non-woven fabrics as well as unidirectional textiles. Furthermore, the polymer plates can be pressed in view of rotational rheology.

One-directional composites are generally best suited for research. The mechanical properties of these composites can be readily interpreted and it is also possible to work directly on yarn level, without having to produce a fabric first. Centexbel is able to process the polymer in both fibre as film form.

Unidirectional composites

The operation procedure to produce a UD-plate (or unidirectional composite plate) includes the following steps:

  1. a number of layers consisting of reinforcing and matrix yarns are winded around a frame. The number of layers needed to obtain a certain thickness can be easily computed.
  2. the pre-form is then placed in a specially developed mould that can be opened for easy demoulding
  3. the fibres are cut loose from the frame. This needs to be executed very carefully to prevent fibre disorientation
  4. the mould is placed into the press where it is submitted to a preset press cycle. The press cycle is characterised by a set pressing pressure, temperature and duration.

Characteristics of the Centexbel LabPress:

  • Max temperature: 300°C
  • ΔT/Δt = max 10°C/min
  • pressure: 30-600 kN (2 – 300 bar)

Tests on composites:

Physical testing:

  • viscosity (MFI, Rotational, Ubelohde, capillary)
  • melting behaviour: DSC & MDSC
  • TGA
  • degradation
  • fibre volume fraction (carbon, glass, …) +- 2%

Microscopy

  • Fracture surface
  • 3D imaging
  • SEM

Mechanical testing

  • 3-point bending
  • tensile, DMA, impact...