MAC-RTM (Completed 11/2013)


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.
MAC-RTM project aims to develop an alternative microwave-assisted curing (MAC) technology for thermoset materials (polyester, vinylester and epoxy resins) 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 MAC-RTM technology will be optimised through simulation of the microwave-resin interaction and required technological improvements will be developed, such as microwave radiation transparent moulds, improved microwave radiation absorption resins and electrically steerable antenna systems. Surrounding curing control and sensor systems as well as accurate process simulation techniques will 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%

Decreasing energy consumption in 70%

Lower styrene emissions (90 % reduction compared to open mould processes)

Increase of the degree of curing to nearly 100%

A 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, under a fast, more cost-effective, more environmentally friendly and higher quality production process thanks to MAC-RTM technology.