Shape Machining launches ShapeTex preforming

Under the ShapeTex brand, Shape offers a capability to manufacture highly efficient, structurally optimized preforms with minimum waste to suit a wide variety of components across a range of industries.

Shape Machining Ltd. (Witney, UK) has launched the ShapeTex brand for the composite preform manufacturing process. “We have been working on this technology for several years and have developed it to the point where we can now offer it commercially to customers across a range composite industry sectors,” says Peter McCool, Shape managing director.

He says that ShapeTex preforms can be manufactured from dry carbon/glass fiber yarns for use in resin infusion or RTM processes. “But the manufacture of preforms using Synergex, a unique commingling of carbon and thermoplastic fibers, unlocks significantly more potential for the high-volume production of composite components,” he says.

The Shape developed thermoplastic preforms have been pressed at the Shape facility in Witney, Oxfordshire. Further development is planned to optimize cycle times for this simple and efficient process.

“The beauty of this process is that it is highly scalable and can be fully automated,” says McCool.

A ShapeTex preform with Synergex commingled thermoplastic carbon fiber reportedly offers multiple advantages including the increased optimization of fiber alignment, decreased production time and a fully automated production process.

“Composite designers are no longer restricted to a simple 0/90 fiber direction. With a ShapeTex preform, there is no limit to the level of optimization, of the laminate, that is possible,” says McCool.