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Foam-injected sandwich panels with continuous-reinforced facings

: Menrath, A.; Henning, F.; Huber, T.; Roch, A.; Riess, C.


Altstädt, V. ; American Institute of Physics -AIP-, New York:
29th International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society, PPS 2013. Proceedings : 15–19 July 2013, Nuremberg, Germany
New York, N.Y.: AIP Press, 2014 (AIP Conference Proceedings 1593)
ISBN: 978-0-7354-1227-9
Polymer Processing Society (PPS International Conference) <29, 2013, Nuremberg>
Fraunhofer ICT ()

Thermoplastic foam injection molding (FIM) in combination with insert molding (IM) offers a possibility to generate sandwich panels in a one-step process. The prepared face sheets are first positioned inside the mold. A preheating process is carried out using quartz infrared emitters, which are mounted on a linear robot, before the mold is closed. The injection of the gas/melt mixture is combined with an embossing of the mold to further improve the face-core-adhesion. Finally, to initiate the foaming process, adjust the extent of foaming of the core and achieve the desired component dimensions, a mold opening stroke is carried out. The process described was performed with different facing materials, layer dimensions and overall wall thicknesses. Drawn PP fabrics (Curv®) as well as PP/GF70 tapes and consolidated sheets (unidirectional) were used to generate sandwich panels in a range of 5 to 6.4 mm thickness. PP was also chosen to form the foamed core which, in combination with the Curv® face sheets, produces a fully recyclable self-reinforced polymer (SRP) composite. Detailed process descriptions and the results of bending tests demonstrate the high potential. Other focuses are the preheating process and the foam structure.