Nicolas Matkovic Nikolas Matkovic

Research Area Technology - T2:Handling and preforming

Flexible production of thermoplastic components with UD-tape reinforcement structures

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 focused on a novel way to preform thermoplastic tapes for continuously reinforced 3D structures. A tool-free, gripper-based and flexible bending process was developed for production. The third generation of the IRTG builds on these results and aims to further flexibilize the production of thermoplastic components with UD-tape reinforcement structures. For this purpose, a process is being developed for tool-free hybridization of the previously produced preforms. The process is based on the Fused Layer Modeling and uses a robot-mounted extruder. The robot-mounted extruder allows a flexible extrusion of LFT-G, which can be applied to the preforms with the use of a local consolidation unit. For example, the individual preforms can be joined to form a reinforcement structure and then further processed in a co-molding process. Tool-free production of individual reinforced components without additional co-molding is also possible. The research objectives are to investigate the different process parameters, such as extrusion temperature or consolidation pressure, and their influence on the component properties. For the implementation of the process, robot movement will be derived using CAE systems. For this purpose, a suitable control architecture must be developed. For the validation of the process, different properties of the manufactured components will be investigated.


Figure 1: Production of (sub-)preforms with the process provided by the second generation T2

Figure 2: Robot-mounted extruder with a consolidation unit for tool-free hybridization