Heated Platen Press and Chiller Installed at the University of Edinburgh for Advanced Composite Sample Research
Nov 08 2019 Read 551 Times
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, the eighth-largest university in the United Kingdom and an internationally renowned centre of academic excellence, has installed a P.E.I. Pinette heated platen press and a Frigosystem chiller in its Composites Processing Laboratory in the School of Engineering.
The equipment has been added to the Institute for Materials and Processes as part of equipment run by Professor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh and is to be used in research and teaching where individuals wish to manufacture composite laminates or polymer plaques by compression moulding technique.
In particular, high temperature thermoplastic composites such as polyether ether ketone/carbon fibre (PEEK/CF) or polyaryl ether ketone/CF (PAEK/CF) composites will be developed and manufactured.
The platen press is a P.E.I. Pinette model LAB 450 P with 400mm x 400mm platens, a press force up to 30 tonne, electric platen heating up to 450C with an integral touch screen incorporating state of the art control of press functions including recipe building, storage, download and internet connection for remote operation/diagnostics.
Rapid and controlled platen cooling is accomplished by the Frigosystem air cooled NRA12 - M306 Chiller which chills the water in a closed circuit connected with the platen press. This range of Frigosystem chillers have been specially adapted to operate with heated platen presses where very hot water, steam and hot compressed air exit from the platens and enter the chiller.
Intelicare undertook the installation and commissioning of the press and chiller and the P.E.I. engineer completed the training of the Composites Processing Laboratory staff.
Intelicare specialises in the supply and service of equipment used within the plastics processing, composites and other industries. Key product lines include Fluid Temperature Control, Materials Handling, Laboratory Platen Presses, RTM Resin Injection Equipment, complete Extrusion Lines and Industrial and Composites Curing Ovens.
The press has been well received as demonstrated by Dr Dipa Roy, Senior Lecturer in Composite Materials and Processing, who commented: “The Composites Group at the University of Edinburgh is very active in advanced thermoplastic composites research. We expect this technically advanced press, together with the high capacity chiller for controlled cooling, essential for developing the desired level of crystallinity in the material during thermoplastic processing, to not only enhance the high temperature thermoplastic composite research activity but to play a major role in the development of our students. The students from the Composites Group have produced the first advanced thermoplastic composite samples on the press and the results are very impressive.”
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