Research Unit 860
New Process Chains for Composites: Integration of Preforming, Impregnation, Forming and Curing
The aim of the Research Unit is to develop and investigate new process chains to manufacture high volumes of continuous fibre reinforced plastic parts.
This shall be facilitated by a high level of automation of the whole processing chain, beginning from the roving to the finished product. Therefore, carbon fibres and glass fibres will be used as reinforcements, while the matrices are focused on epoxy and polyurethane resins.
Process Chains and Processing Stages
The groups research activities focus on the following three process chains:
- gap impregnation,
- spray impregnation, and
- high pressure impregnation.
For each process chain, the processing stages preform production; impregnation; and forming and curing are being examined in detail.
Ain addition, fundamental research on the design and construction of tools and their handling will be conducted.
The "preforming" sub-project focuses on the production of manageable and near-net-shaped preforms.
Subsequently these preforms are placed into the tool where further processing (impregnation) can take place.
The investigation of impregnation, forming and curing will be done in further sub-projects. Common techniques are further developed and new processes developed to realize short cycle times. Other sub-projects focus on handling techniques and tooling.
By considering entire process chains the manufacture of structural fibre-reinforced parts with a fibre content of more than 50 percent in short cycle times of less than 10 minutes shall be made possible.
The research of the unit aims at developing future key technologies for the processing of fibre reinforced plastics.