Focus on composite research network
ITA, the Institute for Textile Technology at German RWTH Aachen University will be present at JEC 2013 composite trade fair in Paris (March 12 to 14) in booth T 50, the group stand of the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and by presenting its latest research results
ITA forms part of the mentioned cluster and will present tailored non-crimp fabrics (TNCF), allowing the serial production of fibre reinforced plastics. Semi finished products can be adapted to the subsequent component shape and to production processes. For example, expensive carbon parts can be applied directly on the targeted location within the component. This allows to radically reduce waste and the process steps can be reduced considerably since the drapability of TNCF allows a local adjustment and this under high process security (high bending stiffness and shear strength). Also complex 3-D geometry can be achieved thanks to the high drapability. Thus, TNCF material application leads to marked material and process costs.
The complex pre-form of a convertible roof was produced at a reduction of 60 % of the cycle time, and lower production and material costs. The high volume component was selected to demonstrate the usefulness of TNCF. The roof segment of a BMW 3 series convertible has a plate of varying thickness. The intended maximum cycle time of 10 minutes was reduced to less than three minutes in the optimised production scenario including all perform geometries. Instead of the conventional production, the TNCF application reduced the cost of one kilo fibre reinforced composites in serial production from EUR 80 top EUR 120 kg to EUR 25 to 40 EUR/kg.
Composite oriented part design and production technology are a key factor to allow the industrial production of fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) and to create innovative solutions a close collaboration between experts of different disciplines and a composite value added supply chain is necessary.
The composite cluster of RWTH Aachen University entails six interdisciplinary cooperating institutes (among IKV Institute of Plastics Processing, ITA Institute for textile technology, ika Institute for Automotive Engineering, WZL Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering), located at one central location, with 560 engineers, more than 900 research assistants and surrounded by an innovative and state-of-the-art infrastructure. All of this is leads to new research and development of new ideas in the field of part dimensioning, textile technology, plastics processing as well as specific composite part applications. They represent public and industrial funded project.