FAQ

Technical specifications of the presses

What is the maximum temperature a Fontijne Presses device can reach?

The maximum achievable temperature at which samples can be pressed depends on the model, and ranges from 200° C (LabManual 50) to 300° C (LabManual 300 & LabEcon series).

Please note that the maximum temperature on the LabEcon series can optionally be increased up to 400° C, and even to 1000° C on the LabPro series.

How to measure and control temperature and closing force?

On the LabManual series, the closing force has to be set by means of a handpump and is displayed on a dedicated lcd-screen. To set the temperature of the upper and lower platens, two separated control units, each having their own up/down buttons and an easy to read lcd-screen, are present on the front panel.

The LabEcon and LabPro series are equipped with an advanced touchscreen interface, where the desired temperature and closing force can be set. The software also allows to make recipes: a series of commands and events to set different temperatures and/or pressing forces during a number of consecutive stages. In any case, the current and set temperature and pressure force settings can be monitored at all times on the touchscreen.

Does Fontijne Presses use the same software for its different presses?

Yes. The software driven LabEcon and LabPro series rely on the same software. This way, users who are accustomed to the current Fontijne Presses software can easily switch from one press to another. 

However, as our software is constantly evolving, the software that runs on older Fontijne Presses appliances might differ from the software that runs on newer appliances.

Please contact us if you want detailed information on this subject.

Can data be logged and exported?

On the LabEcon and the LabPro series, the data of each press cycle is recorded and saved. This data can easily be exported in .txt format through a USB-interface for further processing on an external device.

Does Fontijne Presses equipment enable automated multi-stage press cycles?

Yes. Fontijne Presses’ LabEcon and LabPro series allow the user to compose and store different recipes. These recipes describe all of the consecutive actions – including multi-stage press cycles – which the press has to perform. If needed, each stage can have different temperature and pressure settings and can have different durations. Recipes can be saved and can easily be reused later at the touch of a button.

The LabManual series do not offer this functionality, as these devices are manually operated.

Is it possible to use a Fontijne Presses device to heat a sample without applying pressure to it?

Yes, it is. The software on the LabEcon and LabPro series allows to (pre)heat the sample without applying any pressure to it. To this end, the two heated platens are positioned close to each other.

Is it possible to insert a thermocouple in the mould?

Yes, it is possible to insert a thermocouple in either the sample or the mould. On the presses that use our Programmable or ProView software, the temperature as measured by the thermocouple can be read on the touchscreen of the press. Furthermore, this information can also be integrated in a ‘Wait until user temperature = Y° C’ command.

Is it possible to fix a mould to the heating platens?

There are several ways to fix the mould to the heating platens. The most common solution is to drill some holes in the platens and to screw the mould. Please get in touch with the team of Fontijne Presses to determine the best suitable position of the screw holes in order to avoid interference with the integrated heating elements, thermocouples and cooling channels. A guiding mechanism with L-profiles installed on the side of the platen, or a system with clamps or T-slots are further possibilities.

Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Does Fontijne Presses offer vacuum presses?

Yes. Fontijne Presses’ LabPro series can optionally be equipped with a vacuum system (30 – 40 mbar). In that case, the safety cage of the press is provided with a special frame and safety doors to withstand vacuum conditions. The vacuum system – including a vacuum pump – is integrated in the support table of the press. Additionally, the vacuum chamber can be equipped with a connection to inject gases. This way tests can be performed – even at high temperatures up to 700°C – without oxygen and/or with other gases such as nitrogen or argon.

Safety & Norm compliances

Which Fontijne Presses devices are compliant with ASTM D3182?

ASTM D3182 is the standard practice for rubber – materials, equipment and procedures for mixing standard compounds and preparing vulcanized sheets –, as defined by ASTM International. 

This standard describes, amongst others, the required vulcanization equipment. According to the standard, the press shall be capable of exerting a pressure of no less than 3,5 MPa (N/mm²), while the maximum temperature deviation over the mould area shall not exceed 0,5°C at 150°C. 

The LabEcon 600 press can reach a specific platen pressure of 3,75 MPa (N/mm²) with full load. Our LabEcon 1000 can even reach up to 4 MPa (N/mm²) with full load. In fact, also with our smallest press, the LabManual 50, a pressure of 3,75 MPa (N/mm²) can be reached on a specific surface of 120 x 120 mm. In practice, the specific platen pressure also depends on the sample or mould size.

It’s important to keep in mind that the material and geometry of the used mould have a significant influence on the temperature distribution. The required maximum deviation of 0,5°C can be reached with different ways of heating, with different kinds of platen materials, and with different set ups. Please contact Fontijne Presses to discuss thoroughly.

Which Fontijne Presses devices are compliant with ASTM D4703?

ASTM D4703 is the standard practice for compression moulding thermoplastic materials into test specimens, plaques or sheets, as defined by ASTM International.

This standard practice covers the compression moulding of thermoplastic granules for the preparation of test specimens. ASTM D4703 requires that the press used for this shall have a clamping force capable of applying a pressure of at least 10 MPa (N/mm²). Furthermore, the platens shall be capable of being heated to at least 240°C and being cooled at a rate consistent with different cooling methods. The appropriate cooling method is normally given in the relevant material specification. For instance: an average cooling rate of 15 +/- 2° C/min.

Our presses can reach 10 MPa (N/mm²) e.g. with a closing force of 300 kN on a surface of 200 x 150mm. On request, we can program the required cooling rate with our Programmable of ProView software.

The material and geometry of the used mould play a significant role in order to reach the moulding temperature indicated in the relevant material specification and the required cooling ramps.

Can the speed of the final closing phase be controlled?

In some cases, it is important to gradually increase the pressure on a sample. To achieve this, the speed during the final closing phase of the platens needs to be carefully controlled. Our ProView control includes a frequency controller that enables a smooth control when the nearly closed position (the position where the press switches automatically from closing speed to pressing speed) has been reached. This way, the pressing speed can be e.g. set at less than 1mm/sec.

Delivery & Installation

What is the average delivery time for a Fontijne Presses device?

The delivery time of a Fontijne Presses instrument depends on the press series. Typically, our LabManual and LabEcon presses have a shorter delivery time (2 to 8 weeks) than our LabPro presses (16 weeks and up). This is because all LabPro presses are built to order.  

When requesting a quote, feel free to ask us the delivery time for your press.

How does the installation procedure of a platen press work? Should this be carried out by a specialised installer?

As our lab presses are easy to install, you do not need a specialised installer to have the job done. Plug the plug into the socket and – in case your press is equipped with water cooling – take care of the water and compressed air connections.

You don’t need any specialised knowledge, but obviously all connections should be made by qualified persons. Furthermore, our manuals contain the required information on how to install the press and organise the connections.

Service & Support

How is Fontijne Presses’ after sales service organised?

Our after sales service starts as soon as the hydraulic laboratory platens press leaves our factory. Do you have questions about the connections or about the installation of the press? Would you like to know more about the software or on how to operate the press? Are you interested in receiving an offer for preventive maintenance and calibration? Do you want to exchange a hydraulic filter or a relay? Drop us an email on service@fontijnepresses.com to get in touch with our after sales department. Either you will be supported by one of our service engineers, or you will be contacted by your local distributor or service partner.

What training options does Fontijne Presses offer?

At our premises in Delft, we offer intensive training sessions on how to operate the presses and on how to work with our software. Alternatively, one of our engineers can come by to train your team on site. Online training sessions can be organised as well.

Which spares and consumables are needed to keep my Fontijne Presses in good shape?

We recommend changing the hydraulic oil and the oil filter every 12 – 24 months, since hydraulic oil ages and the quality of the additives diminishes over time. 

We also have recommended spare part lists available of all of our presses. Please contact us for more information.

Can we visit the Fontijne Presses factory and carry out some tests with our products and moulds on your demo presses?

Yes, you can. Please contact us to discuss details. Alternatively, you can also send us some samples along with a description of the process to be performed and the test conditions.