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Innovative Fibre Reinforced Plastic Rolls in Ultra-Light Weight Sandwich Construction

15 October 2004

A BMBF research project in Germany is looking at ways to develop filament wound FRP rolls for sandwich construction.

BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) is the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research Project.

The intention of the research project ‘Innovative fibre reinforced plastic rolls in ultra-light sandwich construction’, a project which commenced back in August 2001, is the development of filament wound fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) rolls in sandwich construction for machines used in the paper, printing, plastic film or non-woven materials industry.

By using FRP sandwich rolls compared to monolithic FRP rolls, production cost are reduced by 30 %, with operating costs also being reduced. In comparison to metallic rolls FRP rolls may show a reduction in weight and mass moment of inertia of approximately 50 %, an increased stiffness and strength at equal weight, less deflection during operation, higher frequency and better damping characteristics. This will result in lower vibration, in the possibility to increase the rotational speed or the production width of the machines, in reduced bearing forces and in decreased operation costs.

To reach these goals, the feasibility of the sandwich technology for the use of rolls will be investigated in the project and appropriate principles of material engineering as well as innovative methods for the filament winding of rotationally symmetrical FRP sandwich structures will be developed. Thereby, an integrated production concept shall be developed to achieve a low-cost, economically friendly and energy saving production in combination with a high product quality. So far, mostly plane or moderately curved sandwich structures are applied. The sandwich rolls to be developed within this project consist of two concentric face sheets with carbon fibre reinforcement and rigid foam or honeycomb core which enable the manufacture of ultra-light structures with better stiffness and increased damping properties as well as a considerable weight reduction in comparison to metallic rolls (up to 70 %) or monolithic FRP rolls.

The task of the partners contain the definition of requirements, the conceptual design as well as the detailed analysis of FRP sandwich roll constructions, the design of testing facilities, the processing, production and characterization of the involved materials. Other major tasks include the investigation and choice of appropriate processing conditions, the manufacturing and completion of tests specimens (mounting of roll bottom and pin, coation), testing, design verification as well as the assessment of the manufacturing process and the operation efficiency.

Project partners:
Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. Maschinenfabrik (machine manufacturer)
COMAT Composite Materials GmbH (manufacturer of Composite products)
Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH (IVW GmbH) (Institute for Composite Materials)
PM-TEC Stenz Walzenfertigung GmbH (manufacturer of rollers)
Tenax Fibres GmbH & Co. KG (manufacturer of fibres)
ADETE Advanced Engineering & Technologies GmbH (engineering of composite / plastic materials)





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