AZL to carry out ultra-fast consolidator machine and inductive double-belt press developments

Innovative systems demonstrate highly scalable and flexible consolidation of composite laminates. Follow-up projects to be carried out this year.


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AZL ultra-fast consolidation machine, and double-belt press.

Photo Credit: AZL Aachen

AZL Aachen (Aachen, Germany) announced that two patented projects developed with 12 industrial partners — the ultra-fast consolidator machine, and the double-belt press — are to be further evolved in follow-up projects carried out this year.

The ultra-fast consolidator machine is a modular production system for the mass production of individual tailored blanks. Based on a piece-flow approach, it combines laser-assisted thermoplastic tape placement with in-situ consolidation and takes only five seconds to produce a fully consolidated, multi-layer composite laminate with different fiber directions and minimized scrap. Developed from two separate projects, the demonstrated technology also won the JEC Award in 2019.

The system is scalable, and multiple applicator stations can be added. AZL says it offers a high level of flexibility and is cost-effective at producing laminated in high volumes.

A follow-up will address the influence of substrate preheating in a first module and then dive further into the comparison of heating systems in a second module; both modules will have trials.

AZL says it is also looking forward to a follow-up project on the development of a double-belt press, which is to begin this year as well. The low-cost, scalable and efficient system consolidates and impregnated a wide variety of composite materials in a highly flexible process. All parameters, such as pressure and temperature, can be adjusted within minutes, AZL says.

This project’s follow-up will address an increase of the maximum temperature (>300C) and combine the isobaric functionality with additional isochoric functionality. Further, AZL says, various process investigations will be conducted, especially regarding the resulting impregnation or consolidation qualities.

The project kick-out occurred mid-April. For more information on either project, please get in touch with Alexander Knauff.

This post is courtesy of the CompositesWorld and AZL Aachen GmbH media partnership.


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