Compression moulding of composites is a new and growing sector. High quality parts with controlled surfaces, short cycle time and superior mechanical properties currently need significant capital equipment outlay (high load capacity press), tooling investment (CNC machinining) and time to manufacture.
Led by Simpact and carried out in collaboration with WMG at the University of Warwick, COMPPRESS is an exciting 18 month feasibility study which will investigate a completely new and highly disruptive innovation in the compression moulding of composites. Designed to open up the market for structural composites, improve productivity and market lead of the UK, the project will design and build a prototype composite moulding machine. On successful completion of the project, we will demonstrate the new technology with a processed composite part which will compete with the quality and strength of a traditional compression moulding but at a fraction of the price.
This innovation in UK manufacturing will open up significant opportunities for our composites manufacturing partners across the UK supply chain. By enabling quick product customisation and low tooling/time investment, new market opportunities will open, increasing the profitability and market lead that the UK already has in this field. Once implemented, the short cycle time means that it will also be suitable for high volume manufacturing. Furthermore, significant increases in efficiency and reductions in energy consumption can be achieved.
As with most of our projects, technical challenges and risk will be overcome through a CAE led approach to the new forming process supported by experimental testing to provide input and validate the simulation programme.