The MAC-RTM project aims to develop an alternative microwave-assisted curing (MAC) technology for thermoset materials (polyester, vinylester and epoxy resins) with improved flexibility and more cost and energy effective than current curing technologies. The MAC technology will be developed and adapted to the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) and RTM-Light industries for composites production. The MAC-RTM technology will be optimised through simulation of the microwave-resin interaction and required technological improvements will be developed, such as microwave radiation transparent moulds, improved microwave radiation absorption resins and electrically steerable antenna systems. Surrounding curing control and sensor systems as well as accurate process simulation techniques will be developed to guarantee a cost-efficient, controlled and reproducible curing process.
The MAC – RTM project will contribute to enhance the competitiveness of the European SMEs in the global market with the development of an integrated system that is technically innovative, environmentally friendly, and economically viable.
The developments in the MAC-RTM project will allow the adaptation of the RTM and RTM-light processes for medium volume components production with the following advantages:
- Reducing the production cycle time by 40%
- Decreasing energy consumption by 70%
- Lower styrene emissions
- Increase of the degree of curing to nearly 100%
Clerium’s role in MAC-RTM was the development and manufacturing of composite moulds suitable for Microwave curing. Microwave curing technology is now available. The largest benefits have been proven in considerably shortening the curing time of epoxy resins.
Project website: macrtm.aimplas.es