The Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University) presented its competence in the fields of composites, fibre composite materials, and reinforced fibres at the trade fair “Composites Europe”. The exhibit at ITA’s booth showed the prototype mold made out of textile reinforced concrete, used to manufacture longboards (type of skateboard) made from carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP).
The prototype was developed in cooperation with the company KMB Keramischer Modell- und Formenbau GmbH, Wesel. The prototype mold is meant to be a replacement for mold made of synthetic materials (Ureol, plate material), aluminum or steel. Molds made out of fibre reinforced concrete for the production of fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) components are not yet on the market.
Due to its temperature resistance, a FRP component can be infused and subsequently annealed in the mold. The material and production cost for this concrete mold are significantly lower than conventional molds. New molds do not have to be milled again from the solid or elaborately produced by hand-laminating processes; instead, after the production of the master mold, they can be reproduced easily and cheaply.
For the producers of fibre composite materials, which include the automotive industry and its suppliers, there are substantial advantages: forming costs are reduced considerably as the molds can be made cheaply from a single prototype; annealing of the parts directly in the mold.