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TOP Doing More With Less
TOP Doing More With Less
This paper demonstrates the use of the Temperature Optimized Process to create a more effective process for MLB pressing.
Materials Tech

Authored By:
Dieter Backhaus
Technical Consultant
MBT Monika Backhaus
Technologieentwicklungen
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Transcript
A new technology for MLB pressing has been developed called T - O - P (Temperature Optimized Process).

The goal is to reduce energy consumption and improve product quality through quicker and more even heat distribution.

This was achieved by using new materials and direct electrical heating of the tools. Each part of the tool is heated by a specially developed ultra thin heating element to be controlled separately so that only the actual needed energy is supplied.

Depending on the structure of the panels it takes 30-45 minutes from cold start to reach 200 degrees Celsius in the center.

Cooling is done by water circulation inside the top and bottom tool either under full pressure or controlled cooling/pressure ratio.

This paper demonstrates the use of T - O - P to create a more effective process for MLB pressing.
Summary
A new technology for MLB pressing has been developed by MBT and industry partners, called TOP, Temperature Optimised Process. The goal was to reduce energy consumption and to improve product quality by quicker and more even heat distribution throughout the book.

This was achieved by using new materials and direct electrical heating of the tools. Tools are made using a 3- ply-material having a core of Aluminium and both sides clad with Stainless Steel. This gives 90% of the heat conductivity of Al combined with the thermal expansion and surface hardness of rolled Stainless Steel. Each part of the tools is heated by a specially developed ultra thin heating element having a connection capacity of only 3 kW/h. Build in sensors allow each heating element to be controlled separately so that only the actually needed energy is supplied.

Each opening can be controlled separately. A third heating element is placed in the middle of the book, thus actually creating 2 books in one allowing for up to 50 mm MLB material to be in each book / opening. All connections for energy and sensors built into the tool have their matching parts in the back of the press to have direct contact when putting the tool inside the press. Depending on the structure of the panels it takes 45 minutes from cold start to reach 200° C in book centre. Another important part of TOP is our patented Separator HTS 600. Having a thickness of only 0.5 mm HTS 600 has about 4 times better heat conductivity compared to Stainless Steel.

Due to quick and even heat distribution no press pads are needed. Very tight thickness tolerances are achieved by even resin flow. Cooling is done by water circulation inside the top and bottom tool either under full pressure or controlled cooling/pressure ratio. This gives unequalled stability and extremely low shrink in X and Y axis. All above has been established by test runs with a number of German Customers and assistance by ISOLA Düren
Conclusions
Our new technology offers following advantages:
•Low energy consumption, saving of up to 90 %
•High flexibility
•High productivity
•Improved quality because of quick and even horizontal and vertical heat distribution and permanent temperature control
•Avoids internal stresses
•No press pads necessary
•No extensive and expansive infrastructure
•Small space needed
Initially Published in the IPC Proceedings
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