ITA showed its expertise from the fibre to component at JEC World

ITA showed its expertise from the fibre to component at JEC World

ITA, the Institut für Textiltechnik (Institute of Textile Technology) of RWTH Aachen University demonstrated its expertise along the entire process chain at the joint stand of the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) of RWTH Aachen University in hall 6 booth No. C79. ITA shows its knowledge from the raw material over the fibre up to innovative textiles and whole components

Exclusive innovative processes and products will be presented with different demonstrators. The exhibits come from different application fields: From aerospace and automotive applications to construction and housing and also medical uses.

1.            Laser processing of preforms for fastener integration

The ITA presents the enormous potential of laser material processing for the production of composite components and the implementation of fasteners for multi-material design applications in an exhibit which is a world novelty. Fasteners which were so far pasted into or glued on now can be custom-fit integrated in textile preforms by using ultra-short pulsed laser radiation. Complex drilling, surface preparation or curing process of the adhesives is no longer required.  The pull-out forces are increased significantly and the process times are reduced by the new process. These advantages are mainly of interest to the automotive and aerospace industry. For further information please contact 

2.            SSM Carbon – cost reduction through the fabrication of split-tows

Picture 1 SSM carbon machine_source SSM Schärer Schweiter Mettler AGThe new machine SSM carbon features a modular design and spreads, splits and winds carbon fibres (s. picture 1 SSM Carbon machine, source: SSM Schärer Schweiter Mettler AG). As a first step, we spread cost-effective heavy tows made of carbon fibres with 50 K single filaments which are divided into split tows with a defined number of filaments between 3 K and 12 K (s. picture 2 “Spread of 12 K carbon fibre”, source: ITA and picture 3 “Spread and split of 12 K carbon fibre”, source: ITA). This procedure reduces the costs significantly for light tows. Additionally, a tailor-made number of single filaments can be produced. The SSM Carbon machine was developed together with the partner companies Gruschwitz Textilwerke AG, Leutkirch, Germany, and SSM Schärer Schweiter Mettler AG, Horgen, Switzerland. It is available in pilot scale by SSM Schärer Schweiter Mettler AG. The ITA is responsible for lab-scale tests and concept development for a scale-up of the machine technology and the expansion of the plant in close cooperation with the partner companies. For further information please contact

3.            Innovative 3D tufting unit for high-productive joining of textile preforms

The joining of textile preforms represents a central process in the production of components made of fibre-reinforced composites. The tufting technologies Picture 2 Spread of 12 K carbon fibre_source ITAwhich are currently commercially available have too low sewing speeds. A new tufting unit with a sewing speed of up to 1,000 stitches per minute was developed within the project „3D-Tuft“of Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand, the Central Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises of the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy. The tufting head which was developed in the project „3D Tuft“, was presented at JEC 2017. Additionally, the tufting Picture 3 Spread and split of 12 K carbon fibre_source ITAunit with approximately 15 kilogrammes weighs a lot less than other currently available commercial products.

This new tufting unit achieves a significantly higher productivity with lower investment costs. ITA developed a new presser foot in this project which reduces the abrasion on the textile and that way contributes to a gentle joining. In addition, required process and machine parameters were evaluated and test series were performed. For further information please contact


4.            Car roof segment based on integral reinforced fabrics

Picture 4_Car roof segment based on integral reinforced fabrics_source ITA-150 dpiThe car roof segment was completely produced for the first time out of integral reinforced fabrics (picture 4 “Car roof segment based on integral reinforced fabrics”, source: ITA). The textile architecture according to load paths allows the reduction of component weight by a higher exploitation of the fibre properties.

Production costs will decrease through less waste and process steps during preforming because the single integral reinforced layers are manufactured in a single step by open reed weaving. For further information please contact

5.            Textile-reinforced concrete table

The table made out of textile-reinforced concrete (TRC) visualises the enormous future potential of this innovative composite materialPicture-5_Textile-reinforced-concrete-table_source-ITA

This potential is based on the high load bearing capacity of textile-reinforced concrete components as well as their resistance to corrosion compared to conventional reinforced concrete. The flexible textile reinforcement allows the production of thin, individually shaped and light concrete structures, which offer outstanding mechanical characteristics and durability. The conception for this textile-reinforced concrete table is based on a quadraxial carbon fibre fabric, which is coated with epoxy resin. As a result the tabletop has almost isotropic properties which allow a thickness of only 15 mm.

The potential target groups are manufacturing companies specialised on textile- or concrete products as well as construction companies. Those companies will be able to extend and diversify their range of products due to the increased possibilities of design and application of textile-reinforced concrete components. Moreover those components represent an interesting alternative to private users and small construction companies because they are applicable with less machine expenditure than conventional reinforced concrete and can be applied in new areas which were not suitable for concrete until now. For further information please contact

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.