As a technical materials specialist, Krempel is increasingly in demand when it comes to anything to do with energy and mobility.
In this interview, managing directors Jörn Clasen and Christian Reh explain how the company is equipping itself for the future...
With the new Prepreg system BD for 3D components, KREMPEL has achieved an outstanding combination of the material characteristics which are essential for success: our new formulation BD U286 has been developed with particular attention to the areas of drapability, tack and the elimination of white spots. What is impressive about this system is its very good heat resistance at a high glass transition temperature and crystal-clear shiny surfaces. In addition to its use in motorsport, aviation, engineering, and medical technology, the matrix employed is suitable for a multitude of other applications up to 140 oC.
The market potential of the new Prepreg system BD is highlighted by Tobias Bässler, Sales Manager for Composites at KREMPEL: “User experience demonstrates the strengths and optimisation potential of materials, including the commonly used composites for 3D components in the temperature range around 120 oC. This group of materials has to cover many applications and therefore have numerous characteristics, many of which could counteract one another. So it is not easy to reproduce all relevant characteristics in a suitably practical way in one solution. Nevertheless, this is indeed possible, as our Prepreg system BD demonstrates: it is easy to process, even with complex component shapes. As a final product it has an absolutely stable structure, and is also visually attractive thanks to its clear and shiny surface. This combination of quality features in one prepreg marks a new performance level, and therefore a great advance in 3D component production.”
Thomas Mozer, Applications Technology Manager in Composites at KREMPEL gives his insights into the development criteria which are important in this respect: “Dimensional stability during heat exposure requires particular attention. The characteristic value measured for this material quality is the glass transition temperature Tg. This can vary considerably, depending on the measurement method and its implementation. This metrological difference can lead to serious differences in performance, for instance whether components which are heated by the sun to 80 oC and beyond remain structurally stable or soften again. A crucial element in our development work was therefore to validly achieve a Tg value of at least 120 oC by means of dynamic-mechanical thermo-analysis (DMTA) to aviation standards. The result is that our Prepreg system BD is absolutely reliable in use at temperatures up to and including 140 oC.
Variable for variations
KREMPEL’s answer to the growing diversity of worldwide applications and manufacturer-specific requirements is tailor-made Prepreg variations. “To achieve the desired values of pressure resistance, tensile strength, modulus of elasticity and other material characteristics, we manufacture the Prepreg system BD with the fibres or textiles best suited to the task, whether made from carbon, glass, aramid or other materials. As an independent manufacturer we are not tied to particular raw materials, our only obligation is to optimum workmanship,” says Marcus Münch, Area Sales Manager for Composites at KREMPEL. “In the same spirit, as development partners in test series we also use special backing materials and help to implement these in production. We gain additional scope for development by modifying the resin recipe to obtain special characteristics, such as UV resistance.” KREMPEL guarantees consistently high product quality for all Prepreg variations, and manufactures to DIN EN 9100 standards.
Partners for success
KREMPEL supports the efficient production of 3D components with excellent product service: for customers new to composite technology, as a Prepreg specialist KREMPEL can offer a whole range of services, from training on material processing, through determining process parameters for machine set-up, to participation in component manufacture. For those with greater know-how in composite materials, services aimed at continuous process optimisation are available. Analysis of laminates, for instance, provides a valuable breakdown of the coherence of production processes. Conclusion: for success with 3D components, KREMPEL is a strong partner meeting customer requirements.