CENTRIFUGAL CASTING TECHNOLOGY FOR TAPERED COMPOSITE LIGHT POLES

Centrifugal casting is a production technology used to make composite poles in the shape of a truncated cone with maximum length, set only for logistical constraints, of 13.6 metres. This technology makes it possible to make products with a high degree of dimensional and physical-mechanical repeatability.
TOP GLASS Industries S.p.A.
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CENTRIFUGAL CASTING: THE PRODUCTION PROCESS

For over thirty years, Top Glass has produced tapered fibreglass utility poles using centrifugal casting, a technology developed entirely inside the company and drawing on its design capabilities and production systems. Top Glass lighting and aerial lines poles are inexpensive compared to traditional options in steel, aluminium, wood or concrete thanks to their unique features.
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1 - CHOOSING AND POSITIONING OF FIBERGLASS REINFORCEMENTS

This is the most critical phase, as it will define the mechanical performance of the pole obtained. Our specialists, thanks to their experience and the use of software specifically developed for this purpose, identify the appropriate type and correct quantity of fiberglass that will reinforce the pole. Also, in this phase, the exact positioning of the chosen reinforcement mats is defined in such a way as to achieve the resistance and stiffness levels of the pole required by the end customer.

2 - FORMULATION OF THE RESIN MATRIX

Our chemists define the type of resin to be used based on the end use of the pole and where it will be installed. In addition to the resin, the catalysts and additives that will complete the matrix used for the production of the pole are identified. This is a phase in which the right balance is created between reactivity (which will affect the correct polymerization of the matrix) and density (which will allow perfect impregnation of the fiberglass) of the matrix itself.

3 - INSERTING THE REINFORCEMENTS INTO THE MOLD

All mats are wrapped and inserted into the mold by specialized operators trained for this purpose.
Depending on the customer's needs, layers of non-woven fabric may be wrapped together with them, which can sometimes reproduce the appearance of wood to allow the poles to be inserted with less impact in landscape contexts.
At this point, the machine is set in rotation, thus starting to exploit the peculiarities of centrifugation: in this phase, the fiberglass adheres perfectly to the internal surface of the mold.

4 - INJECTION OF THE MATRIX AND ITS POLYMERIZATION

The matrix is then injected into the production machine: the conical shape and rotation to which the mold is subjected allow the resin to impregnate all the fiberglass contained in it. The entire mold (still rotating) is heated to allow the matrix to polymerize and thus obtain the desired pole.