Hennecke celebrates commissioning of the 100th PUR-CSM PREG plant
Hennecke laid the foundation for the development of a polyurethane spray technology in 1998 in order to establish an efficient product range from it in 2004 under the generic term PUR-CSM (Polyurethane Composite Spray Moulding). This product range implements highly flexible plant concepts in several areas of automotive and non-automotive applications. A key area of the CSM product portfolio, the so-called sandwich load floor technology PREG is celebrating a special occasion at the JEC World 2017: the commissioning of the 100th PUR-CSM PREG plant worldwide. With this, another Hennecke customer will be entering the group of companies that promotes lightweight construction in vehicles with the large-scale production of composite products on a paper core basis.
The focus of all suppliers and OEMs on the market is not least on automotive lightweight construction as a result of the increasingly stringent emission standards. In addition to more efficient units or alternative drive concepts, the weight is a decisive factor for the energy efficiency of all vehicles. According to Hennecke, the company identified the increasing significance of lightweight construction solutions at an early stage and is now a global market leader for PREG plant technology as a constituent part of PUR-CSM technology. The term PREG is the abbreviated form of the well-known Prepreg technology, whereby a glass fibre mat is impregnated in the preliminary process stages. Hennecke has developed this concept further and generated an active spray application from the pre-impregnation of the glass fibre mat. This active spray application is used immediately before the moulding process. Various aspects play a decisive role here with regard to large-scale production. For example, the PREG plant technology features a self-cleaning spray-moulding technology, which can also realise any desired shot interruptions and local reinforcements.
A unique selling point of the PUR-CSM technology is the homogeneous distribution of the reactive PU mixture, says Hennecke. This significantly saves raw materials for customers. In addition to the specific quality of the end product, this represents a further competitive advantage of the PUR-CSM technology in general and the PUR-CSM PREG technology in particular. Therefore, the spray-moulding technology has become established as standard for the production of load floors, parcel shelves or sun shading elements for sliding glass roofs, says the company.
“However, that does not mean that this technology cannot be developed even further”, said Jens Winiarz, Head of Sales Composites & Advanced Applications at Hennecke: “We are particularly proud of the PREG applications, which are now being used in the exterior area.” The first large-scale application for exterior components is used in the roof module for the new smart fortwo. Even the predecessor model relied on glass fibre-reinforced polyurethane for this component. However, the PUR-CSM PREG technology was able to save significant weight, causing the conventional long glass fibre technology for the component used previously to be discontinued. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) were also persuaded by this advantage: The company Webasto also uses the PUR-CSM technology in the production of the roof module for the new Jeep Renegade.
However, the potential in this market segment is far from being exhausted, said Winiarz. “Hennecke will undoubtedly continue presenting new components at trade fairs and events in future in the area of PREG technology and amaze the specialist audience when it comes to lightweight construction.” Trade fair visitors can see the roof modules mentioned as well as other PUR-CSM PREG products for themselves at the JEC World 2017. This year's Hennecke trade fair presence is entirely focused on the PREG technology and the commissioning of the world's 100th PUR-CSM PREG plant. In addition, the specialist audience will find further samples from the extensive composite product range of the Hennecke Group. Among other things, these include fibre composite components realised using the HP-RTM technology.