22. August 2018

Plastics processing: injection molding and more

Fakuma Internationale Fachmesse für Kunststoffverarbeitung logo uai

Fakuma presents lightweight construction solutions

Highly stressable, continuous fiber-reinforced and functional plastic components offer great lightweight construction potential for the automotive and aerospace industries and numerous other sectors. Whether FvK, FfK or CvK – solutions for the production of lightweight and durable components will be on display at Fakuma – International Trade Fair for Plastics Processing from October 16 to 20, 2018 in Friedrichshafen.

High strength with 25 percent less weight

There is a reason for the increasing demand for plastic components with continuous fiber reinforcement: they bring high mechanical strengths with up to 25 percent lower weight compared to metal components. Therefore, their economic production is the subject of various research projects. While FRP components with a thermoplastic matrix are already being produced and used industrially, developers are currently looking into the injection molding of continuous fiber-reinforced lightweight components with a thermoset matrix. Thermosets are superior to thermoplastics in some applications due to their higher resistance to cold and their higher mechanical and thermal load-bearing capacity.

Injection molding enables high component complexity

The Fakuma trade event sees itself as the number one event for injection molding. Numerous technology leaders in this field will be present at the high-profile event in Friedrichshafen. Compared to 3D printing, foaming, extrusion and thermoforming, injection molders with their flexible options and increasingly efficient processes are clearly in the majority. “If you want to combine lightweight construction and high component complexity, you can’t get around injection molding,” states the trade show’s project manager, Annemarie Schur. For years, she has been observing the trend that more and more innovation drivers, users and experts from this field are showing up in Friedrichshafen. Numerous exhibitors use the trade show, which is becoming increasingly well-known internationally, to present their innovations to a broad audience for the first time.

New materials, high-tech processing

But it is not only the latest materials and their possible applications that will be presented in Friedrichshafen. The willingness to invest in new machinery and systems remains high, as can be seen from the unbroken interest in manufacturing components and peripherals in the plastics sector. Trade visitors, experts and decision-makers came to the past 2017 event from more than 120 countries. The call of about 1900 exhibitors was followed by 48,375 experts to the border triangle of Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Lake Constance. And the trend is upward. In addition to numerous participants from Germany and Europe, the proportion from the Asian region in particular is increasing.