Sandwich cores for fibre composite components are currently mainly designed in flat structures. As part of its LiteCon joint venture, Evonik Industries, Germany, is now producing ready-foamed, complex 3D structural cores for CFRP sandwich components in industrial series production. ROHACELL Triple F makes it possible to produce complex 3D components in high volume commercial quantities. Thanks to excellent mechanical properties, even at higher temperatures, this foam can be used in high-pressure RTM or wet-pressing processes for the quick and efficient production of sandwich components with light foam cores for the automotive industry, for example in car bodies, chassis and mounted parts. The material in the core has a strong impact on the performance of sandwich constructions.
Aside from its mechanical performance, the sandwich core and the entire sandwich component should be able to be produced economically. Until now, polymer hard foams for sandwich components were predominantly manufactured in blocks and then formed into the desired shape in a further processing step, usually by CNC milling. The high degree of manual forming and the relatively high wastage mean that manufacturing costs for large-scale production are too high. This led Evonik to develop its in-mould foaming process (IMF) for its rigid foam for manufacturing complex geometries. For ROHACELL Triple F, PMI granules in the desired density are foamed into a finished foam core in a mould. Metallic parts, for example threaded inserts, can be directly integrated during the foaming process.
ROHACELL Triple F is compatible with conventional resins such as epoxy resin. Thermoplastic materials can also be set directly in the mould as a cover layer.
Sandwich components with an in-mould foamed core made from ROHACELL Triple F are offered by LiteCon Advanced Composite Product, a joint venture between Evonik Industries and SECAR Technology. LiteCon combines the materials competency of Evonik with SECAR’s process know-how for manufacturing components for the composites industry.
Evonik will exhibit on Stand L96 at Advanced Engineering 2018 on 31 October-1 November in Birmingham, UK.
Industries: Automotive and Road Transportation