Presses and Pressing Capabilities
With three state-of-the-art presses, each with unique capabilities, Plasan North America can design and manufacture ballistic composite panels faster, and for a wider range of applications than our competitors.
- High Pressure Press (HPP): Maximum Pressure of 770 tons
- Flat Press with Hot and Cold Sides: Maximum Pressure of 160 tons
High Pressure Press
The most powerful press in our arsenal at Plasan North America is our High Pressure Press (HPP). With the capability to deliver more than 770 tons of pressure and generate temperatures exceeding 360° F, the press is primarily used today to manufacture contoured explosive ordnance disposal suit panels.
The HPP has a platen size of 36” x 36”for oil heated and cooled dies. It’s programmed and controlled using Citect SCADA Software.
The Neff Press operates at a capacity of 160 tons with a platen size of 59” x 90” and an open height of 30”. Currently, we use it to process flat composite laminate panels at our Grand Rapids, Michigan campus.
Composites processed on the Neff Press have low cycle times and yield consolidation without the need for autoclaving. Its press process has a hot cycle (time, tonnage, temperature) for consolidation, followed by a cooling cycle executed under pressure to eliminate any possibilities for distortion. The Neff Press is programmed and controlled using patented Wonderware Software.
High Performance Autoclaves
Our high performance autoclaves, too, are equally advantageous to those we serve. Plasan North America’s Grand Rapids, Michigan manufacturing campus is equipped with three autoclaves, each of different size. This allows us to conduct high volume production runs for highly contoured parts, as well as short-run prototyping and early design testing.
Specific sizes of our three ASC Autoclaves are:
- 10′ diameter x 20′ deep
- 10′ diameter x 10′ deep
- 7′ diameter x 7′ deep, used for R&D
The 10′ x 10′ autoclave can run 12 beds of flat composite panels per cycle, with each bed at 72″ x 94″ in size. The 10′ x 20′ autoclave, in comparison, runs at 24 beds per cycle. Performance extremes of our autoclaves are approximately 450°F and 300 PSI.
Common materials processed at Plasan North America include:
- Proprietary thermoplastic resin prepregnated into aramid and fiberglass
- Phenolic resin on S2 glass
- Phenolic resin on aramid and carbon fiber
Some products can be processed via the Neff Press or in an autoclave, or both, providing increased production flexibility and overall capacity.
Test panels are processed during each manufacturing lot, regardless of which press is used. Test panels are ballistically tested by an independent lab to ensure product performance meets standards and requirements.