Research Project Summary Information
Energy-efficiency Double Diaphragm Forming (DDF) of Composite Parts(ST9667-1)
Kintz Plastics Inc.
With the competition in plastics thermoforming industry and the challenges of a manufacturer trying to survive and thrive within New York, Kintz Plastics’ growth potential is limited. However, an untapped market opportunity for Kintz is advanced composite manufacturing because of the increased use of such parts in many products, especially aerospace, and the relatively limited penetration by foreign competition. Because of the similarities between the thermoforming and double diaphragm forming (DDF) processes, Kintz Plastics is well suited to enter the advanced composite parts market.
The objective was to develop a low-cost, energy-efficient composite forming and manufacturing capability at Kintz Plastics with which to enter new markets, including:
•Develop the internal infrastructure and in-house technical ability to DDF, cure, and finish advanced composite parts for various industries (e.g., aerospace, biomedical)
•Develop the forming technology for carbon fiber materials
•Solicit part requirements from and manufacture test parts for potential customers, and
•Market the composites forming capability and train Kintz’s sales force.
By implementing the Double Diaphragm Forming method the lead time and estimated electric energy consumption are reduced by 53% and 91%, respectively. This project will open up a new market for Kintz, creating a new revenue stream and new jobs.
Per the original project objectives, Kintz, in collaboration with RPI, developed a low-cost and energy-efficient composite-forming and manufacturing capability, which will allow them to enter new markets (i.e. advanced composite parts used in aerospace, biomedical, marine, and transportation products).
As compared to conventional hand lay-up techniques, DDF was shown to reduce lead-time and estimated energy consumption for the part-forming step for each manufacturing process, by 81% and 96%, respectively.
An unexpected result of this project was the development of a new concept for curing parts without the use of an autoclave. The new process is being patented and NYSERDA is funding its feasibility study,Agreement #11132: Curing of Advanced Composite Laminate parts by Thermal Pressing – a Feasibility Study.
Kintz Plastics Inc.
165 Caverns Rd
Howes Cave, NY 12092
On-site Process Improvement
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr