Hennecke presents advancements in WCM technology
Hennecke has made decisive advancements in so-called wet compression molding (WCM) technology through extensive process knowledge and on the basis of various customer requirements.
WCM technology represents an efficient production method for the high-volume production of fiber-reinforced structural components and is characterized by the fact that the reactive mixture is applied to the fiber fabric contact-free as a fluid film. This takes place either in a separate workstation by means of robot-guided application or directly in the mold. In the separate workstation, the fiber fabric is guided under the WCM nozzle of the mixing head by one or more robots. At this stage, the reactive mixture is applied to the fiber fabric. The robot then places the impregnated fiber fabric precisely in the mold. The press closes along with the mold, ensuring that the reactive plastic is distributed evenly. After curing, the finished component can be removed for trimming. Compared to HP-RTM technology, the WCM process places significantly fewer demands on production, particularly with regard to the complexity of the mold. Using WCM technology means that the material can also be applied directly in the lower mold if complex geometries or large components are involved. The lower mold is typically extended out of the press to ensure optimum accessibility. After the material has been successfully applied, the mold moves into the press, whereupon it closes and the curing time also begins. Hennecke has now developed a new WCM nozzle for this purpose. The nozzle differs from commercially available nozzles in that it has an improved wide slot geometry, can be exchanged easily and also has various safety functions. When developing the WCM nozzle, the focus was on quick and easy maintenance. This means that the nozzle can be positioned by just one operator in a matter of seconds or be replaced during maintenance.