Purdue CMSC partners with Wabash MPI to develop a custom testing press with greater flexibility to help clients break into new markets


Purdue University’s Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center (CMSC) specializes in cutting-edge education and research.


Increase CMSC’s flexibility to enhance its development of next-generation high-rate composites manufacturing processes.


Wabash developed a versatile, down-acting, 250-ton composite molding press with 42″ by 42″ heated and cooled platens with ability to integrate with other systems & processes.


With new, best-in-class industry capabilities, the CMSC now has the flexibility to drive new innovations in composites processing that respond to needs for future high-rate manufacturing in the aerospace and automotive markets.


The Purdue University’s CMSC gains world-class high-rate processing and innovation capabilities with a new custom press from Wabash.

Purdue composite materialsWhen it comes to pushing boundaries and discovering new innovations, the CMSC at Purdue University balances teaching and advancing existing manufacturing processes with discovering and developing cutting-edge materials and processes for its industry and government partners.

The mission of the Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center at Purdue University is to provide tools, often through modeling and simulation, for design and manufacturing decisions, through advancing composites manufacturing science and simulation technology. Doing so requires not only state-of-theart modeling and simulation technology and partnerships, but comprehensive experimental capabilities to study the complex physical phenomenon in composites processing, in order to advance and validate simulation tools. In establishing such extensive experimental facilities, the CMSC leadership reached well beyond the traditional autoclave and oven processes, so familiar in today’s aerospace industry, to cuttingedge, high-rate processes, such as those being explored today in industry research labs. Wabash MPI was a clear partner-of-choice to establish a core competency: a high-rate compression press, an enabling technology for multiple, emerging, high-rate manufacturing processes, such as themoplastic sheet forming, and hybrid compression molding, including with composites additive tooling.


The new down-acting 250-ton composite molding press from Wabash, that includes 42″ by 42″ heated (up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit) and cooled platens, was installed at the CMSC to advance the core competency for high-rate manufacturing research. This new press gives CMSC faculty, staff, and students the capabilities to develop and test next-generation composite materials and processes for the aerospace, automotive, wind turbine and other industries.

“We use this press for high-pressure resin transfer molding, compression molding and stamp forming,” said Johnathan Goodsell, CMSC Deputy Director. “We work with multiple industries to improve their current manufacturing processes while also discovering new alternatives for them to consider in the future.”

Composite materials at PurdueThe CMSC team uses other groundbreaking technologies in concert with one another. Case in point, using additive manufacturing to create custom tooling that can be used with the press and a novel three-minute cure compression molding system to produce prototype demonstrator parts for major clients such as Boeing, Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen and Dow & DuPont Chemical.

This custom setup and additional tooling provide a stamp forming system that is specifically fabricated to replicate the capabilities at Boeing and its suppliers as they look to increase production to meet anticipated demand. With this new press, the CMSC team can now study and model the physics in a process that will be very important in the future for Boeing to meet its anticipated fabrication rates.

“Before this new press, we could model or simulate only certain processes,” said Goodsell. “Now, we can actually prototype those processes and test them so it’s a lot more accurate and useful because we now have access to the real thing.”


As a research organization, flexibility is “mission critical” for CMSC. “We’re always trying something new, and we rarely lock in a configuration and just produce product — that’s not our business, it’s not our mission,” said Goodsell.

As a result, the CMSC team is always pushing the envelope on their equipment and setups. This constant pursuit often requires the involvement of Wabash engineering and support to provide the timely guidance and troubleshooting efforts required to fine-tune the system so it can work for their needs.

“Wabash has been excellent to work with and very responsive as we’ve explored trying different setups,” said Goodsell. “We’ve really appreciated the partnership, responsiveness and their aboveand-beyond efforts.”


  • New best-in-class industry capabilities
  • More flexibility in equipment and processes to match unique needs of R&D facility clients
  • A partnership resulting in a truly customizable and highly flexible system
  • Increased capabilities to explore new innovations in composites
  • Enables students to learn press operation and the versatility provided with a compression press


We can help design a custom press that meets your research facility’s unique challenges. For more information, visit wabashmpi.com. To arrange a free onsite consultation, you can reach us by email at WabashMPI@acscorporate.com

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