JEC World 2019: Thomas Technik + Innovation

Thomas Technik + Innovation (TTI, Bremervörde, Germany, 5/P80) is showcasing manufacturing technology that can produce affordable carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts in high enough volumes for the mainstream automotive industry.

Thomas Technik + Innovation (TTI, Bremervörde, Germany, 5/P80) is showcasing manufacturing technology that can produce affordable carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts in high enough volumes for the mainstream automotive industry. On TTI’s stand and at the Automotive Planet is a CFRP bumper, 100,000 of which could be manufactured each year using the company’s Radius-Pultrusion process. TTI sales engineer Sebastian Mehrtens explains, ​​​​​​“In the normal pultrusion process, you have a mold that is stationary and two grippers or a caterpillar that pull the fibers through a heated mold. In our Radius-Pultrusion process, we move the mold.”

The mould grips incoming resin-impregnated carbon fiber at the upstream end of the line, then moves downstream through a curve, curing the profile as it proceeds towards a stationary gripper. The gripper stays open as the cured profile is pushed through it towards an automated cut-off saw, and only closes when the mold reaches it. The gripper holds the cured profile in place while the die opens and returns upstream to pull and cure the next length of curved material.

TTI also says that it is licensing its Radius-Pultrusion technology to others. For instance, the bumper to be shown at JEC World 2019 is a generic part manufactured by TTI customer Shape Corp. It comprises a thermoset resin reinforced with carbon fiber veils and rovings. 

TTI says the process can be operated with minimal human intervention. This is said to ensure that the resulting parts can be produced in the volumes and with the consistency demanded by the automotive industry. Further, TTI says different profiles can be manufactured using one Radius-Pultrusion line. 

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