01. January 2013

MAI Carbon has launched MAI Speed

Leading-Edge Cluster MAI Carbon has launched MAI Speed- The development of a firmly processed, fast curing c-fiber/black wash/duromer system.

Augsburg. Another kickoff event took place at the Leading-Edge Cluster MAI Carbon in Augsburg. The project partners Augsburg University, SGL group, Siemens, Wacker and Huntsman are working on “MAI Speed”, the development of a firmly processed, fast curing c-fiber/black wash/duromer system. In six working packages, they want to achieve the goal.

At present, the production of duromer CFRP material is characterized by long cycle times especially due to long curing times. The high energy consumption contributes to the overall high production cost of CFRP materials.

This contradicts the automobile industry’s requirements on CFRP production:
Production times of few minutes per component are required as well as an overall cost reduction in order to make the material able to compete in a serial production environment.
These are good reasons to launch a project that addresses this issue:
MAI Speed wants to achieve production time reductions and reduce the costs of duromer CFRP materials.

Milestones to achieve this objective are the new duromer c-fiber/black wash/ matrix systems for the RTM process, a doubling of the textile processing speed, surface modification of the c-fiber as well as the development of functional black washes. In the production of CFRP components, halving the form filling and curving time is desired, as well as developing fast curving duromer resin systems. The overall goal is an improved or comparable mechanical performance of the composites with conventional fiber/black wash/matrix systems.

To increase the textile processing speed, surface modification of the c-fiber has to be the visual focus in a work package. This is made possible by an innovative activating and coating process by means of plasma for selective functionalization of the c-fiber-surface as well as the development of appropriate functional black washes. The goal here is to optimize the fiber wetting with black washes, in order to enhance the adhesion between fiber and black washes, to reduce the black wash erosion in textile producing, and to ease the friction between the fiber and the processing machine.

In order to reduce the mould filling times, new resin systems with lower viscosity and slower rise of viscosity should be developed. In addition, a matrix adjusted to the functionalization of black washes is planned for the improved wetting of the fiber with resin. Also, the composition of the resin is to be optimized for a faster and better saturation. In total, there are six working packages in MAI Speed that are to be processed until 31st of January 2015. The project totals an over-all budget of 440.000 euro and 60 percent is carried by industry partners.