ITA shows its newly constructed induction heated glass fibre production line among other exhibits live at JEC World 2019

JEC World 2019 is scheduled from March 12 – 17, 2019 in Paris, France

At the joint stand of the Aachen Centre for Integrative Lightweight Construction (AZL) in Hall 5A, booth D17, the Institut für Textiltechnik (Institute for Textile Technology) of RWTH Aachen University (ITA) will demonstrate its expertise in the field of glass fibres, preforms and textile concrete.

The exhibits come from various fields of application and address the automotive, aerospace and mechanical engineering sectors. Here is a selection:

1. Innovative glass fibre research at ITA

The newly constructed induction heated glass fibre production line enables increased flexibility in research. For the first time, glass fibres will be produced live at the ITA booth at JEC World. One of the innovations of the system is the inductively heated bushing. It features a flexible design and consists of a platinum/rhodium alloy (Pt/Rh20) for use in high-temperature glasses.

Bushing heated via induction of the novel glass fibre production line, source: ITA

The glass fibre production line was designed in such a way that new concepts and ideas can be tested quickly. The modular design allows a high flexibility, the induction system a significantly faster operability.

Research and development projects can therefore be carried out faster and more cost-effectively.

Our expertise:

•             Testing of novel glass/basalt compositions and sizings

•             Consulting and market research for the glass fibre industry

•             Development of new technologies from bushing to winder

•             Mechanical testing form single filament to composite.

For further information, please contact thilo.becker@ita.rwth-aachen.de.

2. DrapeCube – Forming of textile semi-finished products

The DrapeCube offers a cost-effective design for the production of fibre preforms from textile semi-finished products. It is used in the production of preforms for prototypes and in small series and is suitable for companies active in the production of fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP).

In the production of FRP components, the preforming process defines a large part of the subsequent component costs. In small- and medium-sized enterprises, this process step is often still carried out manually. This results in high quality fluctuations and component prices. Especially in the case of highly stressed structural components, the fluctuation in quality leads to oversizing of the components.


Stamp forming, source: ITA

Thus, the lightweight construction potential of fibre-reinforced plastics is underused. One solution is offered by the stamp forming process adapted from the sheet metal forming industry for shaping reinforcing textiles. The textile is inserted between two mould halves (male and female) and automatically formed. Due to high plant and tooling costs, this process is used almost exclusively in large-scale production.

The ITA has developed the DrapeCube forming station which offers a cost-effective alternative and is able to completely reproduce the current state of the art for forming textile half branches. The process steps will be demonstrated in a video at the booth. For further questions, please contact boris.manin@ita.rwth-aachen.de

3. Carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) preform

The CFRP preform consists of carbon multiaxial fabrics formed by expanded polystyrene (EPS) to optimise draping quality. Preforms of increased quality can be produced by gentle, textile-compatible forming with foam expansion. For the first time, foam expansion was used to form preforms in such a way that the draping quality is improved compared to classic stamp forming.

CFRP preform – formed by particle foam expansion, source ITA

The advantages of the CFRP preform lie in the savings in plant costs, as the investment is much lower. In addition, the proportion of waste is reduced because near-net-shape production is possible. In addition, rejects are reduced, as fewer faults occur in the textile.

For further information please contact sven.schoefer@ita.rwth-aachen.de  and boris.manin@ita.rwth-aachen.de

4. Embroidered preform with integrated metal insert

The 12k carbon fibre rovings are shaped into a preform using Tailored Fibre Placement (TFP) which is a technical embroidery process. For the further layer build-up, a fastener is not only integrated under the roving layers but also fixed by additional loops. The highly integrative preforming approach offers the possibility of reducing weight and process steps as well as increasing mechanical performance.

Until now, inserts were glued or holes had to be drilled in the component. Bonded fasteners are limited by the adhesive surface. The bonding of fasteners into drilled holes results in high drill abrasion and thus high tool wear.

The advantages of the embroidered preform with integrated metal fasteners are the reduction of scrap due to TFP preforming and the increase in the specific pull-out force. In addition, it is possible to automatize the production of integrative preforms. This makes the preform with integrated metal fasteners interesting for the automotive and aerospace industries. For further information, please contact max.schwab@ita.rwth-aachen.de

The core of the ITA Group is the research and teaching institution, ITA, the Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University www.ita.rwth-aachen.de). The ITA Group is an international research and training service provider for fibre-based high-performance materials, textile semi-finished products and their manufacturing processes with 350 employees.

www.ita.rwth-aachen.de