Prisca: polyurethane reaction injection for structural composite applications

Within this project, materials and methods are developed to produce polyurethane rtm components for aeronautical and automotive applications. The main objectives are an increased impact toughness and the implementation of a cost-efficient manufacturing process for medium length production runs.

Resin Transfer Moulding (abbr. RTM) is a resin injection process for producing components in fibre-reinforced plastic. It is well-suited to making medium to large volumes of structural components, and has gained in importance over the last few years. Efforts are being made, chiefly in the aeronautical but also in the car industry, to replace steel and aluminium components with lighter ones made of plastic but still possessing high strength and rigidity. Notable examples are the BMW i3 and i8 models, with carbon-fibre reinforced plastic bodywork made entirely by means of the RTM process. In recent years both the major aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus have developed aircraft consisting of more than 50% by weight of fibre-reinforced plastic (Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” and Airbus A350). An increasing share of these FRP components are produced using the RTM process. The RTM process is particularly attractive in these fields of application because structural components with high surface quality (the surface formed in the fixed half of the die) can be efficiently produced in medium to high volumes. In comparison with the Prepreg process, which is widely used especially in aircraft manufacture, it has lower investment costs because it requires neither large cool storage spaces nor autoclaves; and further, the process cycle times are significantly shorter. RTM also well lends itself to automation, even over the entire chain of process steps from cutting the fibres to length up to the demoulding of the component. The polyester and epoxy resins mainly used today have several disadvantages that stand in the way of their more extensive application. In particular, the market demands the following properties: - lower-cost resin systems for medium to long production runs; - better fracture toughness than is available with presently applied systems; - a wider spectrum of properties, and notably properties that can be individually specified. For sandwich components, using polyurethane systems as the matrix material together with compatible core materials such as PVC or PEI offers the possibility of responding precisely to these market demands.
Project ID: 
9 183
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 310 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Industrial Manufacture
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.