Thermoplastic composites are being increasingly adopted by the aerospace industry as an enabling technology for the manufacturing of lightweight, cost-efficient aircrafts. To meet cost challenges and high volume production demands, the thermoplastic composite manufacturing process needs to be highly efficient with short cycle times.
TxV Aero Composites – a joint venture of Victrex and Tri-Mack – will deliver total PAEK composite solutions on a large scale basis for the Commercial Aerospace industry. To enable this TxV Aero Composites made the decision to use the new Fiberforge tape laying system from Dieffenbacher.
Tim Herr, Director of TxV stated: “Our mission is to provide total solutions from polymer to final part. The Fiberforge system will form the basis of our production process. Our customers will benefit from a new level of efficiency in the large scale manufacture of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics.”
Markus Geier, Sales Director Dieffenbacher added: “The new Fiberforge system is the world’s fastest tape laying system. It requires less than 1 second per course. Integrated with downstream systems such as the handling robot and forming press, more than one million parts can be manufactured per year on just one line.”
Fiberforge creates flat, net-shape engineered laminates from continuous glass or carbon fiber tapes. The system can handle up to four different tape materials in one production run. The complete production process is fully automated, including an automated spool changing system that enables uninterrupted production. Using continuous fiber tapes minimizes the high cost of waste typically associated with lay-up from fabric materials while concurrently producing lighter laminates with 10-30% higher structural performance than weave-based laminates.
Applications within the aerospace industry include loaded clips and brackets, interiors and seating among other commercial aircraft applications. The new approach will enable cost saving solutions for metal or traditional composites.