As local reinforcements, thermoplastic tapes can improve properties of injection moulded parts and save costs due to efficient use of materials. Increased stiffness and strength, higher surface hardness and improved appearance offer small and medium-sized injection moulders in particular product advantages over conventional injection moulded parts. However, the majority of injection moulders use thermoplastic tapes only occasionally.
Experts at RWTH Aachen University are working on a systematic overview of injection moulding applications that are suitable for the use of thermoplastic tapes. The project will also provide comprehensive documentation of the state of the art of relevant methods and technologies for component development and production. Through the involvement of the entire supply chain, all companies will benefit from the knowledge generated. Development and manufacturing processes will be analysed and developed that help injection moulders to use thermoplastic tapes in their production and to evaluate the potential of the technology. Tape manufacturers and machine and tool builders will gain insight into the requirements and challenges of using thermoplastic tapes from the perspective of processors. OEMs and Tier 1s benefit from the direct exchange with suppliers, communicating their needs and requirements and jointly evaluating applications.
The six-month study will lead to recommendations for actions. Business cases for hybrid thermoplastic parts will give concrete examples for parts. Recommendations for actions to overcome technical and organisational barriers will be given together with guidelines for project initiation, design, manufacturing and planning.
Injection moulders, tape manufactures and compounders, machine and tool builders and engineering providers as well as OEMs and Tier 1s are invited to join the study. Registration details for the kick-off meeting on 18 October are available on the AZL website: