News & Press Releases
SPE - Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition 11-13 September 2013
Come visit us at the ACCE SHOW from 11-13 September 2013, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI.
The Value of Heat Transfer Within Composite Curing
This first posting on the News site will deal with the issue of why is heat transfer important in the curing of composite structures and the processes that produce them.
A successful cure depends on uniform heat energy being applied to a resin/fiber matrix to achieve an acceptable Tg. That cure temperature and the energy needed to get there must be applied to the materials and the mold uniformly so as to have the complete part cure at the same time. A part that cures at different times in different places causes molded in stresses to occur. These stresses result in twist and warp and other deformations that take the part out of the acceptable physical dimensions. More insidiously, stresses molded into the part may not result in dimensional error but will cause the part to fail prematurely.
The most impacting variable that determined the size of your scrap barrel is heat transfer. It is also the least easy variable to define. Most inconsistencies in materials can be discovered through simple lab QA testing. Tooling can be measured for dimensional accuracy before processing and can be checked at elevated temperature to determine if the dimensional accuracy of the tool is maintained at processing temperatures. The challenge with heat transfer during the cure segment of the molding process is that it is assumed to be a constant due to the temperature control used to maintain the process temperature set-point selected for the process. We all know that today’s temperature controls are dead accurate and their control functions hold process temperatures to within one to two degrees. In fact, the control system only holds the sensor at a temperature set point of one or two degrees, not the process. Therein lies the problem. If the mold is not absorbing heat energy at a uniform rate and yielding that energy to the resin /fiber matrix uniformly, then cure does not occur uniformly and stress is created.
The challenge is to develop a method for assuring that the sensor temperature is completely indicative of the overall process temperature and that no portions of the material or mold are outside an acceptable window of temperature/time variation during the cure process.
In future posts we’ll get into these challenges and their resolution in various processes. I hope you will find this of interest and come back to learn how, with a little applied science and some simple modifications to tooling and the environments the tools operate in during the cure process, we can achieve a tight temperature range for the cure process using both simple and complex tools and molds while dealing with vacuum bags, autoclaves, matched metal molds, carbon tools etc.
CTO - Acrolab Ltd.
PLAST-EX SHOW at The Toronto Congress Centre May 14-16, 2013
Come visit us at the PLAST-EX SHOW from 14-16 May 2013, at the Toronto Congress Centre.
ACROLAB at JEC Americas in Boston, Interview with Brian Forster
Please click on the link to view interview with Brian Forster, Sr Applications Engineer at the JEC Americas Show in Boston this past November.
"POWER" Project - NSERC Collaborative Research & Development
Acrolab has a long standing relationship with McMaster' s Mechanical Engineering Department and specifically its Thermal Management Research Laboratory (TMRL). This research project is a collaborative effort involving Pizza Pizza, Thermal Electronics Corp., Acrolab Ltd., and McMaster University. The project will develop an energy recovery system that will capture wasted heat (thermal energy) from commercial ovens and convert it directly to electricity and provided captured thermal energy to a restaurant’s HVAC and water heating system, the electrical energy recovered will be used directly in the restaurant or sold to the electric grid. Through conservation and re-use, the project will result in greener, better-performing restaurants by: lowering harmful emissions; improving oven economy through recovering "lost" heat energy; and reducing overall gas and electricity demand. The Pizza Oven Waste Energy Recovery system (POWER) will be a compact device based on thermal electric generator (TEG) technology that can be used in electric and natural gas pizza ovens and but can be easily deployed to a wide range of commercial oven platforms. http://www.nsercpartnerships.ca/Media-Media/Bulletin-Bulletin/Bulletin-Bulletin-eng.asp?ID=174
JEC Americas 2012 Composites Show & Conferences (BOSTON)
EXPOPLAST 12 14-15 NOVEMBER 2012 IN MONTREAL
ISO 9001:2008 Certification Announcement
July 27, 2011 - For Immediate Release
Acrolab’s Quality Management System is certified to the ISO 9001:2008 Standard
Windsor, Ontario - Acrolab Ltd., a world leader in advanced thermal engineering research & development and manufacturing of innovative products for energy transfer and engineered heat transfer and cooling systems, has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification for its Quality Management System.
Acrolab Ltd. is fundamentally committed to:
1. Respect for our Customers.
2. Excellence in our individual and team workmanship.
3. The development of safe, appropriate and innovative products that are of leading edge technology and that are priced to reflect honest value.
4. Compliance to the ISO 9001:2008 Standards.
5. Continually improving the effectiveness of the QMS.
About Acrolab, Ltd.
Operating since 1945, Acrolab’s head office is located in Windsor, ON with branches in Montreal PQ, Calgary AB and Detroit; MI. Acrolab has a strong global presence with agents worldwide. With its own Advanced Research and Development Lab, Acrolab offers engineered heat transfer and cooling systems, sensors and RTDs (industrial & plastics) and assemblies; process controls; a complete line of heating elements and accessories. Acrolab’s core competencies are research and development in thermal engineering, heat transfer and cooling for composite materials, clean energy research for applications in geothermal, solar, wind, biomass conversion and it offers a full line of thermal products from its manufacturing center.
Ron Brown, ISO Administrator
Thermal Engineering R&D Labs/Mfg Centre
Windsor, ON, CANADA
Keeping Cool With Heat Pipes on the Space Station - Article from the NASA website
July 5, 2011
Below is a link to an interesting article on heat pipes and applications for the international space station.
Best regards, Peter
June 14, 2011 - As reported on the NASA Website.
PLASTEX TRADE SHOW 2011 - CANADIAN PLASTICS TV INTERVIEW - Peter McCormack, Technical Sales Manager
June 29, 2011
CANADIAN PLASTICS TV INTERVIEW - Peter McCormack, Technical Sales Manager
[Click on image to open the interview]