The LFI (long-fibre injection) technique sees cut-to-length reinforcement fibres and in most cases a highly reactive PUR resin mixed in a high-pressure mixing head before being transferred to a tempered mould by a robot. The mould is then closed and the component consolidated. The use of multi-piece moulds facilitates the manufacturing of complex components characterized by high surface quality. Low process temperatures coupled with low pressure within the mould result in minimal strain on systems and tools – thus ensuring that the LFI technique is accompanied by comparatively low investment and running costs.
The individual adjustability of the various process parameters and basic components make the LFI technique suitable for a broad spectrum of applications. Process-integrated fibre length variation and the adjustment of local fibre content are both possible. This facilitates the adaptation of compound properties to specific load scenarios, which in turn contributes to significant reductions in component weight. Typical applications include large-scale structural components such as roof modules for tractors or sandwich structures with enhanced noise insulation properties. Additional advantages include a low level of material waste (the material is positioned precisely within the mould) and a high degree of automation.
Our service portfolio
- Material-specific, load-conform component desig
- Simulation-assisted tool and process design
- Production-oriented prototype manufacturing
- Targeted material selection for cost-effective, lightweight components
Our facilities (used as part of our cooperation with the Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) at TU Dresden)
- LFI system
- Laboratory- and large-scale extruders
- Laboratory-scale presses and 3000 t rapid-action hydraulic presses with integrated tempering modules
- Handling robots
The LFI technique offers both a high degree of design freedom and the opportunity to functionalize the components produced. This might involve the integration of sensors or LEDs (see left-hand photo).
Another special advantage is that the LFI material can be introduced into the mould along with a dry fibrous preform, with the expansion pressure of the PUR polymer alone sufficient for full impregnation within the closed mould. This facilitates the cost-efficient production of highly loadable components.
Dipl.-Ing. Kai Steinbach
+49 351 446960-10