OUR CORE COMPETENCES

SMC – a flexible multi-talent

SMC is a fibre-reinforced, thermoset plastic that is cured under pressure and temperature in a closed mould. Thermoset means that the shape adopted during the curing can no longer be changed by subsequent temperature effects. SMC is composed of reaction resin, glass fibres (length approximately 12 – 50 mm, weight fraction for distribution cabinets approximately 20 – 30%), fillers, colour paste and various additives (e.g. for setting the fire behaviour). Its excellent good mechanical and electrical properties make SMC ideal for use in energy distribution.

Hot pressing – more than just a science

The SMC hot press method is one of the major core competencies of ELSTA Mosdorfer. Our hydraulic presses, with up to 1,000 tons of pressure, process the mat-shaped starting material (SMC) into robust GRP components, with the SMC material being cut and combined into packages in layers. The size and geometry of the moulding determine both the shape of the package and the curing time. Every three to five minutes, an SMC package is placed in the press mould at a temperature of 150°C and is formed and cured with a pressure of up to 100 kg/cm2. The press mould (tool) consists of an upper and lower mould, which are heated electrically or with oil. A hydro-mechanical ejector system is integrated in the moulds, which helps to demould the finished mouldings. The inside of the tools is hardened and polished to achieve the most attractive finish possible on the mouldings and a long tool life. With 1000 or more pieces per year, this method can be used to make thermoset GRP components economically.

The newly developed and unique universal press mould from ELSTA Mosdorfer makes the SMC hot press method interesting even for smaller quantities, because the investment costs for tooling are much lower – so you too can have your components manufactured economically in series quality.

Characteristics of SMC

Electrically insulating material
No corrosion
High mechanical strength
Good temperature resistance
Weatherproof
Halogen-free
Simple to process
Low weight
no brittling at low temperatures

SMC - FAQ

Long-term experience with SMC

Particularly in the production and use of cable distribution cabinets, there is more long-standing and positive experience with SMC than with most other plastics. The first cable distribution cabinets were produced in 1963, and some are still in use today. Being proven in practice is the best evidence of the suitability of SMC-based plastics for long-term use. There are no such empirical values for polycarbonate and other thermoplastics.

Full UV resistance of SMC enclosures

The high-energy UV radiation in sunlight only causes the components to age visually. The resin-rich surface of the SMC component is affected by the UV radiation on the top layer down to a depth of 50 – 100 µm. However, the mechanical and electrical properties of the enclosures are not significantly affected.

Ideal weather resistance of ELSTA SMC cabinets

SMC can draw on experience going back more than 30 years. Most cabinets are used outdoors without paint. UV light, rain, wind and temperature changes do not result in any reduction of their functionality. While metal cabinets rust and cabinets made of polycarbonate become brittle, enclosures made of SMC only show slight yellowing and minor surface abrasion over time.

Wide temperature range for use of SMC

The temperature range in which cable distribution cabinets are used extends from a continuous operating temperature of -50°C to just under +100°C. This is where SMC shows its strength as a thermoset – these temperature influences do not change the structure of the material. Unlike other materials, SMC exhibits no embrittlement at low temperatures or signs of softening at high temperatures.

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