Pitch fibre and induction heating to increase tooling efficiency

Update:06 Mar 2020

GP Marketing Consulting Sas, in collaboration with the […]

GP Marketing Consulting Sas, in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Milan, Plyform Composites srl and Corebon AB, has developed an innovative tool made of high-modulus pitch carbon fibre, combined with induction heating technology, to study its possible industrial applications.Sumitomo Corporation Europe, the official European distributor of   pitch fibres, supplied the fabrics used in the production, in particular, the balanced plain weave fabric  for the core and spread-tow  T for the outer layer, both made with  pitch-based fibre.

These fabrics were compared with PAN-based fabrics normally used for moulds, with the same weight and impregnated with a tooling resin system made by Technologycom srl.According to GP Marketing, pitch-based carbon fibres are particularly interesting for their mechanical and thermal properties, since their molecular composition can reach up to  of carbon and can exceed 900 GPa of elastic modulus; the molecular structure is also highly oriented, also by virtue of the initial melt spinning, during which the precursor is pulled while being heated.

This process as has a result an excellent thermal conductivity.was adopted to manufacture the moulds. The pitch-based carbon fabric showed a good drapability and an easy handling, with no issues whatsoever. The thermal tests in autoclave gave very good results and the induction heating, used in the next step of the project, clearly demonstrated a better thermal behaviour of the pitch tool compared with the An extensive experimental campaign was carried out to evaluate the mechanical and thermal properties of both pitch-based and PAN-based carbon fibre.

The latter was used as a reference to compare Plain Fabric the results, which demonstrated the higher properties of the pitch-based carbon fibre in both aspects; particularly the elastic modulus reached a 300% increase compared to the  the company explains.