Fast manufacturing of tailored composite blanks

AZL and 12 partner companies have completed a research project to develop a new machine prototype allowing increased speed for manufacturing tailored composite blanks.


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AZL Aachen GmbH (Aachen, Germany) together with twelve partner companies have completed a joint research project to develop a new machine prototype allowing increased speed of manufacturing tailored composite blanks, with a followup project starting in October.

To increase resource-efficiency in the production of continuous fiber-reinforced plastics, the processing of scrap-optimized blanks with defined fiber alignment – tailored composite blanks – on basis of unidirectional semi-finished products (thermoplastic tapes, tow-pregs or dry-fibers) offers high potential compared to textile-based pre-products. Yet, today’s production systems for the manufacturing of tailored composite blanks are limited in throughput per system.

Seeking to find a solution, AZL conducted the joint partner project “Ultra-Fast Manufacturing of Tailored Composite Blanks” and developed a novel manufacturing principle to produce tailored composite blanks in seconds at medium investment cost. Twelve AZL partner companies from seven countries participated in the project: Conbility (Aachen, Germany), Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany), Engel (Schwertberg, Austria), Evonik (Essen, Germany), Fagor Arrasate (Mondragón, Spain), Faurecia (Nanterre, France), Laserline (Mülheim-Kärlich, Germany), Mitsui (Tokyo, Japan), Mubea Carbo Tech (Attendorn, Germany), Philips (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), SSDT (Shanghai, China) and Toyota (Tokyo, Japan).

With the implementation of the prototype machine, the initial joint partner project is now completed and a follow-up project will begin Oct 10. The follow-up project will comprise the prototype upgrade and optimization for advanced material and processing studies as well as extensive material and processing studies for demonstration of wide applicability of novel machine concept. 

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