TFPInsert - automated process for functionalised preforms
Complex components made of fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) are currently produced in small to medium sizes (< 1 m²) by multi-stage processes on the basis of dry, textile preforms or pre-impregnated semi-finished products (prepregs). In addition to a high amount of manual production, the current production of these parts is characterised by a high degree of waste (currently 30-50 percent). Due to the high costs of expensive textile semi-finished products, they can account for up to 50 percent of the component manufacturing costs. The quantity of waste has a significant influence on an efficient cost structure in the production of FRP components. This is why a new low-cut preforming process is increasingly being used: Tailored Fibre Placement (TFP).
The TFP is a technical embroidery process that provides a near-net-shape, efficient fibre placement in line with the load path. Due to the increasing demand for multi-material designs, especially in the automotive industry, detachable fasteners (on- or inserts) are required as joints in the composite material. At present, however, such fasteners are either bonded to the consolidated component at great expense or additional holes have to be drilled to integrate them into the already rigid component.
As part of the TFPInsert project, the automated application of new, material- and process-specific inserts in the preforming process using the TFP technology is being developed together with Hollmann GmbH and ITA. The video shows how inserts are attached to the substrate or to the embroidered preform by the stitching thread. During the further ply formation, the insert is not only integrated under the preform plies, but also fixed by additional loops. The "TFPInsert" project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the framework of the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM).
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