Fiberforge (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) has introduced the latest generation of its patented Relay Station tape laying system for the production of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite structures. The new Relay Station produces parts up to six times faster than the company’s original system, with increased flexibility and adaptability and a more user-friendly interface. According to the company, the new system rapidly lays up a multi-ply laminate out of unidirectional, fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite tape. The resulting product, a near-net shape sheet material referred to as a Tailored Blank, is then consolidated and thermoformed into a final part. The new system reportedly can process more than 1 million lb (about 453,600 kg) of fiber-reinforced tape annually.
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Pending successful results from two initial phases, the project will conclude with the production of full size tanks.