Vacuum Technology in use during the Hot Pressing of Prepreg Materials
Before the prepreg materials can be processed, which is usually done through hot pressing, the adhesive material is cut to the appropriate size on a cutting table (1) . To ensure that the prepreg does not stick together during storage, there is a protective film on the material that is often removed manually before the hot pressing. Afterwards, the gripper picks up the cut prepreg pieces and stacks them on top of each other in a specific order (2). The various layers thus form a kit. The tacky surface is a challenge for the gripper in this process step because sticking of individual layers to the gripper during handling needs to be avoided.
A gripper precisely sets down the kit in the mold of the press (3), where it is then pressed and cured (4). This produces a three-dimensional FRP part (5), which can be removed by specific "non-marking" suction cups.