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Superior Prepreg Manufacturing: It’s all about Tight Tolerances

Posted by Robert Rourke on Feb 13, 2018 11:15:00 AM

Pre-impregnated (prepreg) materials create strong, lightweight composite materials which are used for aerospace, construction, transportation and medical applications – all industries that rely on precision. A uniform and consistent prepreg matrix film is the key to product efficacy. Film consistency is directly related to roll geometry. Roll geometry includes the TIR, Roundness and Profile tolerances.

prepreg carbon fiber technology plane.jpg

It’s a Real Challenge

Prepreg manufacturing is a demanding process centered around:

  • Improving the process by controlling and reducing process variables
  • Producing a quality product – all while reducing costs associated with material usage and scrap
  • Controlling coating weights

 

In addition, all rolls wear over time. All rolls need maintenance. However, with demanding prepreg specifications, your rolls need more attention, scheduled roll grinding and a proactive approach to maintenance.

 

It’s All About Tight Tolerances

If the rolls used in your hot melt or other coating processes aren’t ground to the tightest possible tolerances, your business will lose money in costly reruns, wasted materials and unhappy customers.

Here are a few telltale signs that your rolls aren’t perfectly round and straight:

  • Rolls are producing uneven matrix film with varying thickness throughout the sheet
  • Coating weights are out of specification or have excessive variability
  • Time from startup to saleable product is excessive

 

Tighter is Better

Tighter tolerances result in more uniform and consistent matrix films. The roll grinding experts at PRG understand not only this but all aspects of prepreg industries, from silicone release papers through final product. Our roll grinding and coating services result in perfectly round rolls with tighter tolerances than even OEM specifications require. Properly ground rolls:

  • Reduce gage or thickness variation and associated problems (even air bubbles!)
  • Provide coating accuracies across the entire surface of industrial films. This becomes particularly crucial when using multi-layer laminates
  • Provide more even density
  • Provide controlled coating weights
  • A more accurate and uniform application – which means less material is wasted (and more money is saved!)

 

In addition, properly ground rolls result in less unplanned downtime, catastrophic machinery failure and of course, higher production rates.

Superior manufacturing is a result of tight tolerances. Find out how PRG can help your prepreg rolls produce more, at higher quality, and for longer periods of time.


Extend Roll Life with Precision Grinding

Take the first step toward achieving maximum efficiency and minimum downtime:

 Request A Quote Today

 

 

Authored by:

Peter Ditzler, Strategic Development Manager at Precision Roll Grinders

Bob Rourke, National Sales & Marketing Manager at Precision Roll Grinders

Topics: Best Practices, Roll Grinding, Maintenance, Nonwovens Industry

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