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Microwave Assisted Curing for Resin Transfer Moulding (MAC-RTM)
Start date: Nov 1, 2011, End date: Oct 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"MAC-RTM project aims to develop an alternative highly innovative microwave-assisted curing (MAC) technology for thermoset materials with improved flexibility and more cost and energy effective than current curing technologies.The MAC technology will be developed and adapted to the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) and RTM-Light industries for composites production.The challenging MAC-RTM technology will be optimised through simulation of the microwave-resin interaction. Curing control and sensor systems will also be developed to guarantee a cost-efficient, controlled and reproducible curing process.The MAC – RTM project will contribute to enhance the competitiveness of the European SMEs in the global market with the development of an integrated system that is technically innovative, environmentally friendly, and economically viable.The developments in the MAC-RTM project will allow the adaptation of the RTM and RTM-light processes for medium volume components production with the following advantages:• Reducing the production cycle time in 40%, hence an increase in the productivity and costs efficiency• Decreasing energy consumption in 70%• Lower styrene emissions (90 % reduction compared to open mould processes)• Increase the crosslink (polymerization level) to nearly 100%• Cheap polymeric moulds, which will reduce the mould cost by 30%• Material saving as the pieces will not need to be over-dimensioned due to the 100% crosslinkA general purpose part will be designed, manufactured and tested, whose characteristics will incorporate features of standard moulds used in different industrial sectors in order to demonstrate that the proposed technology allows the fabrication of composite parts with better properties than parts obtained using conventional RTM and RTM-light processes, using a faster, more cost-effective, environmentally friendly and higher quality production process thanks to MAC-RTM technology."
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