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Composite Cluster Singapore and partners develop a new method to create high-performance composite structures with thermoplastic tapes

News International-French

19 Nov 2014

Composite Cluster Singapore (CCS) has developed a concept that aims at manufacturing high-performance composite structures in shorter time and with significantly reduced cost.

The groundbreaking concept builds on market proven thermoplastic tape placement technology and integrates it with advanced robotics and laser technologies to overcome limitations of current solutions. CCS will continue the development in a project, jointly with its partners HOPE Technik Pte Ltd, KUKA Robot Automation (M) Sdn Bhd, SGL Group and TRUMPF Pte Ltd.

The success of the project will push the boundaries in materials engineering in Singapore and have disruptive implications in the high-technology based manufacturing for the aerospace, aviation and motoring industries. Partnering with local and international industrial leaders, CCS has assembled a capable team to ensure the project’s quality and eventually bring this groundbreaking solution to the market.

Parts and components made from high-performance carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) generally have superior stiffness and strength per weight when compared to metal components. In addition, they also present opportunities in design and shapes, because they are per definition an additive manufacturing method. CCS and its partners are building on the recent advancements in materials, as well as automation to establish a process and machine concept to manufacture CFRP components without expensive moulds and tooling.

The CCS project team will be lead by Dr. Florian Doetzer, Managing Director of Composite Cluster Singapore (CCS), an experienced technology manager with previous positions in automotive and aerospace industries. He and his team will be supported by each partners’ specialist engineers in their respective field of expertise: integration and prototyping (HOPE), robotics (KUKA), thermoplastic composite material (SGL) and industrial laser technology (TRUMPF).

This will target a global market of high-performance composites that Freedonia Group estimates with USD 10.2bn in 2016, while Visiongain estimates the global market for Aerospace components with USD 10.3bn in 2012. The global potential for components produced with the freespace composite manufacturing system is estimated with approximately USD 2-3bn in 2016 spanning multiple industries, such as aviation, space, marine, racing and sports.

A go to market strategy will target lightweight aviation, space, competition yachts and car racing components. Offering engineering and manufacturing services in the beginning, a licensing concept will be considered for a global market growth in collaboration with the technology partners SGL Carbon, TRUMPF, KUKA and HOPE Technik.

The project is supported by the Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS) under SPRING Singapore. The TECS is a competitive grant that supports the development of high-growth Singapore start-ups with a strong technology proposition and a scalable business model.