CAMX 2017 preview: Mikrosam
Mikrosam (Prilep, Macedonia) is emphasizing automation equipment for fiber and tape placement, with multiple exchangeable heads.
Mikrosam (Prilep, Macedonia) is emphasizing automation equipment for fiber and tape placement, with multiple exchangeable heads. The automated fiber placement (AFP) and automated tape laying (ATL) heads are configured to lay thermoplastic tape and tows, thermoset towpreg or dry tape in widths from 0.125 inch to 12 inches. Also available is the FW head for manufacturing composite fiber-reinforced products by filament winding, wet and dry. The thermoplastic ATL head is equipped with laser heating for temperature control during tape/fiber placement. The thermoset AFP head is equipped with infrared heating unit.
Mikrosam also is presenting custom-made prepreg slitting and rewinding equipment for production of wide-width slit-tape prepreg used in ATL, and narrow-width slit-tape prepreg machines for production of calibrated slit-tape prepreg with release film, used in AFP. The system is capable of slitting a large roll of prepreg material into narrow slit tape with widths 0.125 to 0.5 inch, and the wide prepreg slitting equipment can produce slit tape in widths of 20-300 mm. Rewinding options include a step winding pattern (parallel winding) or pancake coil winding.
Also in the Mikrosam booth is information on a fully automated line for high-volume production of LPG, CNG, hydrogen and other composite pressure vessels. The automated line integrates multi-spindle filament winding machines; automatic handling of liners and wound and cured tanks between numerous equipment units in the production process; and a curing oven that can accommodate a variety of resin systems. The winding machine is equipped with two winding carriages — one for winding the main composite structure and one for winding of the outer protective layer — enabling full continuous production of CNG tanks on the same machine in a single winding cycle. A total of 24 servomotor-controlled axes are integrated into the filament winding machine itself, which Mikrosam says makes it one of the most advanced winding machines in the world. This production line also offers the flexibility to change production from one tank size to another, with all programs — mechanical and electrical parts — automatically adjusted to the new CNG tank size. Booth B27.
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.
ATL and AFP-based preforming options now abound for processing dry and/or impregnated reinforcements as quickly as 1 minute or less with potential yearly part yields in the millions.
The drive to boost aircraft operating efficiency continues to fuel adoption of polymer matrix composites in jet engines.