Multi-Zone Electric Platens for Carbon Fiber Manufacturers

wecreate / April 12, 2024
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Multi-Zone Electric Platens for Carbon Fiber Manufacturers

Carbon Fiber Manufacturers Requiring Multi-Zone Electric Platens

Throughout history, there have been pivotal moments where the discovery or invention of new materials revolutionized the state of manufacturing. Materials like ceramic, bronze, steel, glass, and plastic have all significantly impacted history and industrial development. While still a heavily researched and developed product, carbon fiber has quickly become one of these truly revolutionary materials issuing a swift change for countless industries. As the need for this material grows exponentially, carbon fiber manufacturers are looking for highly efficient and durable electric platens that deliver uniform application of extreme temperatures and pressure. Venango Machine has consistently redefined the platen manufacturing industry and is well-equipped to provide carbon fiber manufacturers with electric multi-zone platens for carbon fiber manufacturers to deliver high-quality, supremely strong, and lightweight products.

What is Carbon Fiber?

Carbon fiber can be defined as a woven mat of fibers that can be impregnated and cured with resin through a combined application of heat and pressure frequently provided by multi-zone electric platens. The result of this heat treatment process is a versatile material that can be stronger than steel but at a significantly reduced weight. The origin of carbon fiber materials stretches back to 1860 when Sir Joseph Wilson Swan developed durable fibers for use in an incandescent light bulb. While the fibers used in that light bulb offered exceptional heat tolerances they lacked the requisite strength needed and were quickly replaced by tungsten. While the material gained a wider footing in automobiles and aerospace components in the mid-20th century, its use was still widely restricted due to limitations in the manufacturing process. However, as technology evolved carbon fiber became simpler to manufacture. At this point in history, carbon fiber is a readily available alternative composite material that offers strength surpassing the most rigid steel at a fraction of the weight.

Choosing the Correct Platen for Carbon Fiber Manufacturers

Not all platens are created equal and they are most certainly not a “one-size-fits-all” solution, especially as it pertains to carbon fiber manufacturers. The general principle for manufacturing carbon fiber is that as temperatures and applied pressures increase from the platen surface, so, too, will the overall structural integrity and strength of the final product.


Carbon fiber components must be heated to extremely high temperatures, often ranging from 500℉ up to 1,000℉ for the applied resin to properly cure. Steam, thermal fluid, and water platens are incapable of reaching such temperatures and are therefore undesirable for carbon fiber manufacturers. Electric platens, specifically Venango platens with multi-zone control, are an ideal solution as they uniformly heat the mold surface to specified temperatures with precise control. One crucial aspect of manufacturing carbon fiber is that the product must also be allowed to cool under pressure for the item to attain full rigidity and structural integrity. The Type EWC of Electrically Heated, Water Cooled Platen offered by Venango Machine is ideal for carbon fiber manufacturers as they are capable of reaching the extreme required temperatures and also cool the material without releasing pressure.

Importance of Multi-Zone Electric Platens

As temperature uniformity is crucial to the final integrity and performance of carbon fiber, manufacturers seek out electric platens with multi-zone control. Thankfully, Venango Machine MultiZone Platen technology offers enhanced precision and control of temperature ranges in several platen designs to accommodate these requirements. The included MultiZone operator screen user interface allows for the operator to directly control the temperature along the entire mold surface, ensuring uniform application of the immense heat needed by carbon fiber manufacturers.


Exclusive to Venango Machine, electrically heated platens with multi-zone functionality ensure quality products with expedited recovery times that help save carbon fiber manufacturers labor and money. By eliminating the possibility of variable temperatures from the equation, manufacturers should see a significant reduction in wasted raw materials, incorrectly formed components, and sub-standard strength or rigidity.


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Common Carbon Fiber Manufacturers & Applications

Due to the substantial cost of manufacturing and implementing carbon fiber, the applications for this groundbreaking material are still somewhat restricted to high-performance or industrial requirements. A few examples of the various industries that require products from carbon fiber manufacturers are listed below:


  • Aerospace Industry: The entire aerospace industry is centered around high-performance components that reduce weight and offer consistent performance under extreme conditions. Internal components like gaskets and seals can all be manufactured from carbon fiber to help improve performance. Carbon fiber has also replaced many facets of commercial airplane fabrication and helped reduce the weight of aircraft while providing improved structural integrity over metal alternatives.


  • Medical Devices: The medical industry desires carbon fiber for several reasons. First among these is that carbon fiber is radiolucent, meaning X-rays can pass through the material without interruption. Secondly, carbon fiber provides exceptional wear resistance and a superior strength-to-weight ratio for implantable products.


  • Energy Storage Systems (EV): As the world shifts to electrically powered vehicles, carbon fiber manufacturers have been quick to develop the necessary products to facilitate this change. The immense weight of the heavy-metal batteries necessitates that weight be reduced elsewhere to preserve functionality and performance. As a result, carbon fiber components have replaced steel throughout the framework of electric vehicles.


  • Military & Defense: Through the combination of the fiber-weave structure and resin application with electric platens, carbon fiber manufacturers have found considerable business in the military and defense industry. The high-strength, reduced-weight, and heat-resistance qualities of carbon fiber make it extremely qualified for personal armor materials, vehicular protection panels, and even weapon fabrication.


  • Commercial Sporting Goods: Carbon fiber is finding a footing in the commercial sporting goods industry as well. Essentially any item that could benefit from a reduced weight and improved strength is a viable target for carbon fiber manufacturers. Bike frames were among the first to implement carbon fiber improvements with products like tennis rackets, recreational snow equipment, and golf clubs following suit.

Venango Machine Co. Heated Platen Specialists

The world should expect carbon fiber manufacturers to continue finding new ways to implement this incredibly strong and lightweight material into everyday products. That being said, carbon fiber for everyday use can not become a reality without Venango Machine electric platens to provide the high temperatures necessary for production. Although electric platens with Venango MultiZone control represent the pinnacle of technology for carbon fiber production, our work does not stop here. Our team will continue to work tirelessly to evolve and innovate our platen products to meet the demands of an industry still finding its footing. If you are a carbon fiber manufacturer looking to incorporate high-performance electric platens into your facility, contact a member of Venango Machine today to get started on a quote or to receive more information.


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