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The manufacture of sandwich structures, such as those used in modern aircraft and motor vehicles, requires various heating processes. An infrared heating system from Heraeus Noblelight offers the flexibility for research and trialling as well as for manufacturing. As an example, the Institute for Lightweight Construction and Plastics Technology (ILK) of the Technical University (TU) in Dresden has used this to improve new combination processes, such as thermo-pressing. The institute has now developed these processes that they are now economically viable and will shortly be ready for production.

Foam technologies will be increasingly used in future as, combined with new joining technologies, they can improve the properties of many components and pave the way for new applications. Typical requirements in this new technology are the functionality and integration capability of components, while at the same time reducing component weight and manufacturing costs.

In thermo-pressing, sheets of resin-impregnated composite sheets are joined with foam sheets. To do this, the sandwich made up of thermoplastic composite top and bottom layers and core material is created in a press tool. Heated half tools are transported into a press tool, together with foam sheets, which are layered at top and bottom with the composite sections. On closing the tool, the covering layers and the foam core are brought together and formed under pressure into a sandwich structure.

Infrared systems transfer heat without the need for a contact medium, with the aid of electromagnetic waves, which generate the heat directly in the material to be heated. Infrared systems offer flexible adjustment and control of the output power. At the same time, they feature short response times; for short-wave and carbon emitters, for example, this is a matter of one to three seconds. This means that heating is controllable and allows temperature profiling to be achieved. The flexibility of infrared systems makes them the ideal heat source in the conception phase of new technologies.

Heraeus Noblelight

Heraeus specialises in the production and application of high quality energy sources covering the electro-magnetic spectrum from ultraviolet to infra-red. It has over 40 years experience in infra-red technology and offers the expertise, products and systems to provide efficient and effective solutions to drying, heating and curing problems throughout industry.

Heraeus Noblelight GmbH with its headquarters in Hanau and with subsidiaries in the USA, Great Britain, France and China is one of the technology- and market-leaders in the production of specialty light sources and systems. In 2016, Heraeus Noblelight employed 707 people worldwide. The organization develops, manufactures and markets infrared and ultraviolet emitters, systems and solutions for applications in industrial manufacture, environmental protection, medicine and cosmetics, research, development and analytical measurement techniques.

In the 2016 financial year, Heraeus generated revenues without precious metals of €2.0 bn and a total revenue of €21.5 bn. With approximately 12,400 employees worldwide in more than 100 subsidiaries in 38 countries, Heraeus holds a leading position in its global markets.

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