Modern resins and high Vf applications have necessitated a new breed of pultrusion machine capable of handling continuous production at increased speeds under extremely high pull loads. Earlier designs, commonly found around the industry, were and are good designs which work well under the typical loads found in conventional pultrusion operations. These machines are built for general use applications and meet the needs of that market. However, under extreme loads these older designs begin to experience issues that negatively affect the quality of the part, the longevity of the machine, and the structural integrity of the assembly. Higher loads can cause part slippage in the clamps, can cause the frame to excessively flex, can cause the carriage to deform, and can greatly accelerate wear on the bearings.
In early 2020, PulFORCE was approached by a customer who was experiencing these same issues, and was given the specific challenge to develop a compact machine capable of 100,000lbs of pull and clamp force, suitable for operation in an exceptionally harsh environment.
We addressed these issues by engaging in an extensive engineering exercise which analyzed every aspect of the machine. Our CAD models were loaded into FEA software which allowed us to simulate the expected pull forces and understand how our designs were reacting. We were able to identify the following critical areas of machine design and and significantly improve performance: