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6/1/2012

Automated tape-laying venture

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Fraunhofer ICT touted its growing array of innovative processing approaches. One, in cooperation with Fiberforge Corp., involves production of high-performance structural parts, typically for automotive applications, using Fiberforge’s RELAY 2000 automated tape-laying technology.

Fraunhofer ICT (Pfinztal, Germany) touted its growing array of innovative processing approaches. One, in cooperation with Fiberforge Corp. (Glenwood Springs, Colo.), involves production of high-performance structural parts, typically for automotive applications, using Fiberforge’s RELAY 2000 automated tape-laying technology. Said to be capable of laying thermoplastic tapes rapidly on the flat, at any angle and width, and with varying fiber types, the system locates tapes by moving its table rather than its head. It places tapes only where material is needed, cuts them to near-net shape and then, using ultrasonic welding, tacks the tape plies together. The tape-layed blank is then shaped to part dimensions via secondary processes, such as thermoforming or injection molding, for a strong, tailored part with continuous fiber reinforcement in key areas. Also on display was information about a high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) manufacturing line for high-volume production, which Fraunhofer is developing in collaboration with other Germany-based entities.  

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