Toho Tenax Europe (TTE) has developed an integrated production system for carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) that enables manufactured composite parts to be optimised for required shapes and properties.
TTE explains that the new production system uses a high-pressure resin transfer moulding (HP-RTM) process and TTE’s own one-step carbon fibre to part technology, called Part via Preform (PvP), which it developed in 2014. One European automaker has already adopted this system and other projects are under way in the automotive industry. Research and development for the mass production of visually appealing Class-A surface parts also has been launched.
According to TTE, the system is based on automated PvP technology utilising Tenax Binder Yarn, which combines carbon fibre with binder resin placed on the preform. Preforms can be manufactured without requiring intermediate steps. The yarn can be processed by random fibre placement for isotropic behaviour, or by aligned unidirectional fibre placement in areas where higher mechanical performance is required. Both technologies – random and aligned unidirectional fibre placement – can be combined to meet cost and mechanical needs in any desired geometry. Also, PvP considerably reduces carbon-fibre waste compared to conventional preform production. The result is an automated, cost-effective solution for optimised manufacturing of CFRP parts tailored to the specific customer needs. The newly introduced system allows integrated production, from carbon fibre to CFRP part. The integration of PvP and HP-RTM enables the production of breakthrough composite parts very competitive to metallic materials, which can be used for large scale production.
TTE says it is now exploring opportunities to apply its CFRP lineup for mass production. CFRP solutions will be expanded for specific mechanical needs and the mass production of both thermoset and thermoplastic CFRPs.