Partnership to develop cost-effective lightweight construction

Hans-Günter Bayer, chief executive officer of FRIMO Group, and Fritz M. Streuber, general manager of Expanded Structured Composites GmbH & Co. KG, also known as 3D|CORE™, have signed a partnership agreement, which will serve as the basis for continuing the intensive collaboration on RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) process optimisation which the two companies began at the end of 2012.

FRIMO and 3D|CORE™ have established L.E.S.L.I.E. (Low Energy, Speed and Less Input of Material and Equipment), a joint project to demonstrate new ways of manufacturing large-volume lightweight components effectively. 3D|CORE™ is a leading manufacturer of structure-reinforcing foam cores. With the new product line C+, users of carbon fibre can reduce the material input for fibre and resin by up to 50%. Acoustic, thermal and electrical insulation values and the vibration behaviour are improved significantly. FRIMO offers a full range of tooling and equipment for PU processing.

Several PURe Mix and mixing and metering machines have been designed for the material-specific processing of polyurethane-based matrix materials such as VITROX®.

Karl-Heinz Stelzl, director of Advanced Technology at FRIMO,adds: “Innovative solutions are needed for the large-scale industrial use of composites. And that will require completely new approaches. At the same time, practical means of reducing unit costs must be found in order to achieve truly sustainable lightweight construction solutions. We are firmly convinced that the only way this process can succeed is to make optimal use of advanced materials together with the right equipment.”

The automotive industry, in particular, is redoubling its efforts in its search for ways to reduce vehicle weight significantly. The use of conventional materials to achieve such weight reduction necessitates high investment costs and the resulting cycle times cannot even come close to satisfying the requirements. The two partners also see further application areas in boat and shipbuilding, in the aerospace industry, and in the tuning and racing segment.