Research Area Technology - T2:Handling and preforming

Flexible, tool-free production of subpreforms for 3D reinforcement structures for complex LFT components

Advisors: Fleischer (wbk), Urbanic (UoW)

The first generation of T2 showed the advantages of preforming of thermoset material and examined possibilities to integrate further processes into handling steps. The second generation of T2 will focus on a novel way to preform thermoplastic tapes for continuously reinforced 3D structures. Compared to CoFRTS, CoFRTP provides more degrees of freedom to operate in terms of local heating, consolidation and deformation. For the production, a tool-free, gripper based bending method will be used where one end of the subpreform is held fixed and the other end will be moved by a robot-mounted gripper. The bending will take place in a heated zone of the thermoplastic tape. Research goal for the second generation is the understanding of this process route for the flexible manufacturing of thermoplastic reinforcement subpreforms. Research objectives are the influence of the heat distribution and the tensions in the bending zone on the bending process and the resulting subpreforms. Occurring defects will be analyzed in cooperation with T3. For the implementation of the process, robot movement will be derived using a kinematic model. Based on the process description, limitations will be specified, and a device for the validation will be implemented.


Figure: A subpreform for the reinforcement structure is formed by repeated local bending