Alfond Advanced Manufacturing Lab For Structural Thermoplastics
Rapid Mold Development and Prototyping
Our Fortus 900mc 3D printer which allows additive manufacturing of parts up to 36” x 24” x 36” using 13 different thermoplastic resins.
Automated Tape Layup
Durability and lightweighting for industries such as automotive and aerospace is achieved through the use of a tape layup cell, a vital process in the engineering of oriented fiber composites.
The tailored blank produced in the tape layup cell is transported by an ABB 6650S Industrial Robot mounted on a rail system spanning the entire manufacturing line to the thermoforming cell. This cell quickly heats blanks in the Sopara Infrared (IR) Oven, where they are subsequently transported to a 700-Ton Utah Hydraulic Press for molding.
Once the thermoforming stage is completed, the product enters a post-processing cell where machining, joining, cutting, grinding and drilling operations can be performed.
Rapid transportation of raw thermoplastic materials, such as tailored blanks, and final products is accomplished through the use of our 6-axis ABB IRB 6650S Industrial Robot mounted on a laboratory-long rail system.
The mission of this lab is to increase the market prevalence of structural thermoplastics through demonstration of automated, advanced manufacturing techniques.
The Alfond Advanced Manufacturing Lab was developed to facilitate research in long-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites. Click here to learn more.
We work with corporations, government agencies, and academic institutions of all sizes to partner on research, development, and commercialization projects, such as:
- Process and tooling development
- Proof of concept demonstration and economic analysis
- Substituting thermosets and metals for thermoplastics
- Joint U.S. research and development funding opportunities
- Finite Element Analysis
- ASTM Material and Structural Testing
- Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Forming Simulations via PAMFORM
Meet the Team
Gardner Receives Dr. Jackie Rehkopf 2nd Place Best Paper Award At SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition
Madeline Wehrle: Researching structural thermoplastics for use in medical field
Senator King Joins National Laboratory Officials & UMaine to Announce Innovative Partnership to Grow Maine’s Economy