Carbon fibre-reinforced (CFRP) components are normally assembled by fasteners that are glued into the cured and drilled CFRP component. The integration of the fasteners into a textile preform and an additional curing process to produce the final CFRP component can shorten production process chains. This requires high-precision cut-outs in the textile for the fasteners. In the NRW-based project CarboLase, funded by OP.EFRE, laser material processing is integrated for the first time into an automated preforming process. A novelty in the process is the use of the material-friendly ultrashort pulsed laser, which processes the textiles without damaging them thermally. By combining the technologies in a flexible robot cell, just-in-time production of CFRP components with integrated fasteners is now possible independent of component geometry and batch size.
This technology was developed by the Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University, short ITA, in collaboration with its partners AMPHOS GmbH, Kohlhage Fasteners GmbH und Co KG, LUNOVU Integrated Laser Solutions GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT.