2016 continued to be a year of ongoing growth for the production volumes of nearly all segments in the European fibre-reinforced plastics and composites markets. The component manufacturing processes covered display a similar level of heterogeneity as the subsequent applications. Processes cover a wide range, from more manually focussed methods to fully automated serial production.
One process with the strongest proportional increase over the last few years has been resin transfer moulding (RTM), a term which covers a variety of processing methods that all involve injecting liquid resin into an enclosed mould.
In particular, it is possible to achieve a high level of flexibility in potential materials, a consistently high quality of components and the option of a high fibre volume content. As a result, RTM has become one of the greatest carriers of hope for the serial manufacturing of composites in recent years. Moreover, the spectrum of components that can be made range from large items, such as boat hulls and rotor blades for wind turbines to automotive components, produced in series.
It has been quite a few years since members of the German Federation of Reinforced Plastics (AVK) set up a working group entitled Euro RTM Group. The group focuses on RTM as a forward-looking production technique for glass-fibre reinforced plastics (GRP). The purpose of the group continues to be an increase in the level of awareness in the GRP industry about the many different RTM options which are available for the production of moulded parts.