08 November 2011
08 November 2011
Fiberforge has successfully installed its first RELAY (Rapid, Efficient Layup) Station in Europe, the RELAY Station 2000 at Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Pfinztal, Germany.
Fraunhofer ICT will use Fiberforge’s RELAY Station 2000, which they say is the largest in the world, at its state of the art thermoplastics research centre to conduct R&D projects for various industries including automotive and aerospace.
The RELAY Station 2000 offers clients the ability to develop and demonstrate the production of thermoplastic advanced composite structures upward of 2 m x 2 m on a full scale production work cell.
According to Fiberforge, the RELAY Station creates tailored multiply preforms from unidirectional thermoplastic prepreg tape that can then be formed into a final part. Unidirectional tape combines a reinforcing fibre, such as glass and carbon fibre, with thermoplastic resin types, such as Polypropylene, Polyamide or PEEK. Tailored Blanks can be made with varying thickness and fibre orientation to maximize structural performance. They say the automated RELAY Station reduces the labour intensity of advanced composite part manufacturing, thus expanding the commercial reach of these materials into higher volume markets and products. Tailored blanks also can be incorporated into injection and compression moulded parts as inserts for improved strength and cost efficiency.
“Fiberforge’s innovative tape layup process opens up new possibilities for producing thermoplastic advanced composite parts in a fast and automated process,” says. Dr. Ing. Frank Henning, Deputy Director of Fraunhofer ICT. “Combined with our expertise in other thermoplastic processing technologies, Fiberforge’s RELAY Station will expand our portfolio in the research and development of methods, materials and process technologies for fibre-reinforced plastics.”
The American Composites Manufacturers Association participated in a roundtable discussion about the IMAGINE Act. Known as the Innovative Materials in American Growth and Infrastructure, Newly Expanded (IMAGINE) Act, the new bill is designed to promote the increased use of innovative materials like fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, as well as new manufacturing methods to accelerate the deployment and extend the life of infrastructure projects.
Coriolis Composites has been selected by the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University (WSU), US, to provide a thermoplastics capable Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) system.
After the collapse of a drinking water pipeline in downtown Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Insituform was contracted to reline a close to 100 year old pipe underneath one of the canals. Water was restored successfully within five days, with minimal impact on traffic and the environment.