Partnership to streamline glass fiber part manufacture

Cannon Afros and ECOS Chocen, a Czech manufacturer of automotive components, have partnered to make automotive structural parts reinforced with glass fiber roving.

“We partnered with Cannon to achieve an ambitious goal to produce complex semi-structural and structural glass fiber reinforced polyurethane exterior body components in a one-step process,” said Jiri Kutlvasr, executive manager of ECOS Chocen.

Typically, compression molded parts are based on glass mats or chopped glass fiber pre-blended with polyol, the companies said.

Plans are to use Cannon’s Interwet Long Fiber Injection (LFI) technology, which features an internal co-injection mixing process of polyurethane (PU) formulations which can be reinforced with a wide range of fibers.

“The novel aspect of this technology lies in the thorough wetting of the glass fiber roving, using a special internal co-injection mixing concept,” said Dario Pigliafreddo, key account manager at Cannon Afros. “A vacuum draws glass fiber roving into a chopper placed on top of a specially modified, proprietary free pouring laminar SR L-shaped high-pressure mixing head, and again, using a vacuum, the chopped long or short glass fibers are sucked inside the mixing chamber and wetted with the polyurethane formulation producing a homogeneous dispersion. Hence the process we call Interwet.”