Moulds for reinforced plastics made lighter, cheaper

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The FormProtect layer systems with metal reinforcement are said to be "clearly technically superior" to plastic coating systems, but they are only marginally more expensive, according to the supplier. Applying the material by spraying requires no significant procedural changes in the process of building moulds or master forms, the company noted.

VeroMetal said development of the product was supported by Professor Herbert Funke from the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts and Jens Brandes from fibretech composites GmbH. Both are said to have many years of experience in the development of moulds and have been working together with VeroMetal on the concept.

The company said the products offer metal coating thicknesses ranging from 100µ up to 800µ. Along with spraying, the material can also be applied in-mould and with a roller. Once the surface has been added to the substrate, it is said to offer high resistance to abrasion and pull-off.

Another advantage of the metal coating is its ability to extend the life of moulds, the company said. In addition, the product enables easier manufacturing at a lower cost because it enables the creation of lightweight tooling. This allows for the replacement of expensive galvanic and heavy aluminium moulds.

VeroMetal's Dieter Lehwald told ETMM that the company's product is currently being used by a firm that manufactures rotors for windmills in the power generation industry and another which makes 12m masts for sailboats.