New dimension creating undreamt of possibilities
Haren – As the very first manufacturer, Röchling Engineering Plastics KG, Haren/Germany, is offering fibre-reinforced sheets produced in press moulding on a synthetic resin basis in a length of 12 meters. This enables machined components to be manufactured in very large dimensions.
The sheets marketed under the brand name Durostone® have the dimensions unique on the market from up to 12,000 mm x 950 mm and a sheet strength from 3 to 120 mm. Moreover, Röchling is in a position to machine these sheets on CNC milling machines and to produce machined components according to customer drawings.
Durostone® sheets comprise a resin matrix on the basis of polyester, vinylester or epoxy resins and glass reinforcement – by way of example, mat or fabric, which are press moulded to a sheet under pressure and heat. Up till now, Durostone® press moulded sheets manufactured by Röchling have been available in a maximum length of 6,000 millimeters. Machined components in larger dimensions were therefore not producible from one sheet and had to be put together from several segments. Even longer components could only be produced from semi-finished pultruded products. However, only lesser sheet thicknesses can be attained with the pultrusion process, and the high costs for the tool required hamper economic production in smaller piece numbers.
Almost four decades of know-how
In the manufacture of composites, Röchling has extraordinary know-how available, and has been producing fibre-reinforced plastics under the brand name Durostone® for almost four decades. With their special properties, components made of Durostone® are well established in numerous sectors, such as, by way of example, in the electrical industry, in generator and transformer construction, in the chemical processing industry, in switch and control gear, as well as in vehicle and traffic engineering. The new length of 12 meters opens up new possibilities for design engineers, who can now utilize the benefits of composites even in applications, in which hitherto only conventional materials have been implemented such as metals, steel or wood.
New possibilities in generator and transformer construction
For manufacturers in the electrical industry, the new dimension now enables the application of one-part peelable slot liners made of Durostone® EPC SL 38 in large generators that are 10 meters long and longer. Durostone® can also display its advantages with the new dimension in the construction of large-size transformers. Usually compressed beams made of laminated densified wood or steel in a length of up to ten meters are used here. Due to its electrical conductivity within the transformer, application of steel leads to electrical losses. On the other hand, compressed beams made of Durostone® are electrically insulating and at the same time have high mechanical strengths.