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Stellar to showcase automated fibre placement process

News International-French

23 Feb 2016

The new manufacturing process offers high-speed placement of fibre reinforced thermoplastic tapes in selected locations in a composite structure, in order to provide the optimum reinforcement, weight and cost profile within a structure.

Processing with thermoplastic tapes offers through-life environmental impact benefits over thermoset materials.

To demonstrate the new technologies, work has focused on selectively reinforcing existing components to create hybrid composite structures with localised strength where required; direct manufacture of components with reinforcement placed in selected regions of the part and the manufacture of preforms with selective reinforcement for use in subsequent moulding processes to provide complex load-bearing structures.

The process and prototype parts will be displayed at JEC World through the following:

  • A video showing the process concepts.
  • Test pieces demonstrating the capability.
  • Prototype parts.
  • A demonstrator showing how the tapes are laid.

Gary Foster, Project Manager and Coordinator from NetComposites, said, "This novel approach to the rapid manufacture of composites structures creates parts, which are more complex, stronger and lighter, while the process produces less scrap and improved part uniformity.” The project is led by NetComposites, United Kingdom and involves 7 other project partners: HBW Gubesch, Germany, esi, France, AFPT, Germany, Toyota, Belgium, Fraunhofer IPT, Germany, Kunststoff Technik Leoben, Austria, and CGTech, United Kingdom.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 609121.