New method improves material efficiency
Looking at today’s established manufacturing technologies for structures of high-performance fiber composite materials made from CFRP, it becomes clear that, in the aerospace, automotive and engineering industries, the high material and production costs of these materials currently hinder their economical use, not only for small quantities but also for industrial series production.
One key to weight-optimized and cost-effective production of high-performance fiber composite materials made from CFRP is the load-oriented and automated deposition of reinforcement fibers with a minimum of semi-finished product wasted. Currently the rate of waste when using semi-finished fabric can reach up to 30 %, depending on the complexity of the component.
Therefore, the project’s aim is to develop a process that leads to considerable savings in terms of material usage by reducing waste and to lighter components through a load-oriented design. In order to achieve this objective, the method patented by Compositence Ltd shall be developed further for integration into an interlinked manufacturing process. So far, it is a procedure for three-dimensional deposition of a preform directly from the roving with low cut-off waste. For this purpose, the deposition process, an automatic loading and supply of the roving and a new binder application are to be developed and opportunities for optimizing binder application and the impacts on the further processing in the RTM (resin transfer molding) process are to be studied.
Figure: Diagram showing the intended process stream
The technological approaches to be developed in the MAI Preform 2.0 project make a decisive contribution to the reduction of waste of CFRP materials, which will allow, on the one hand, production and unit costs to be reduced and, on the other, an important contribution to the conservation of resources to be made. Thus, the project is in the focus of the BMBF Leading-Edge Cluster’s objectives.