AOC inaugurates new SMC line for R&D13 April 2016
AOC has installed a new state-of-the-art SMC line in its R&D facilities in Zwolle, Netherlands. This line has the capability to make the full range of SMC materials, including products based on carbon fiber. AOC will be using this new equipment for joint development projects with key customers, pushing the limits of both SMC processing and molded component end-use performance.
“AOC wants to have an in-house capability and full independence for making SMC products in R&D”, explains Peter Hilzendegen, Market Segment Leader SMC/ BMC of AOC. “That is why we have made the investment in a brand new line from Schmidt & Heinzmann. The ability to optimize raw materials, SMC manufacturing conditions and part molding all in one hand, allows us to significantly speed up new resin developments.”
VERSATILITY IN DEVELOPMENT
The new AOC SMC equipment is temperature controlled, enabling operation at elevated temperatures. This allows to optimize fiber impregnation (e.g. by reducing resin viscosities) and speed up SMC maturing. AOC will be using the new line for evaluating innovations in its Palapreg®, Daron® and Beyone™ resin and Low Profile Additive series for SMC applications, with the initial focus on developing light weight structural solutions for Transportation end-use markets. The line is capable of handling both carbon and glass reinforcements.
“AOC is inviting its key customers to work on joint development projects creating unique SMC material solutions, very much in line with our LET’S TALK / brand promise”, says Andreas Horbach, Technical Service Manager SMC/ BMC at AOC. “Besides the new SMC equipment, we do have full testing and material evaluation capabilities for material characterization and optimization. This helps our customers to obtain predictable part performance in high volume industrialized manufacturing processes.”
“Customers in SMC need a partner that has the right knowledge and track record”, adds Paul Vercoulen, CTO of AOC. “AOC has a strong drive to deliver composites solutions that work in new applications and to help our customers to increase their competitiveness. We have made the development of carbon fiber based solutions a key priority in our long term strategy. Therefore, the investment in this new SMC line is a good example of how we take the lead in product innovation.”