19 April 2016
19 April 2016
Fibre-reinforced thermoplastic lightweight structures were the focus of this year's national symposium of SAMPE Deutschland.
In February, 150 experts from science and industry met at the Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg to discuss the latest research results and developments in the field of fibre composites.
Thermoplastics with suitable reinforcement structures offer a variety of exceptional properties for future mobility concepts, and can be cost-efficiently manufactured in series production with short cycle times. The materials, combinations and processing methods best suited to large-scale production, as well as the obstacles faced, were described from a scientific perspective by a representative from the symposium host FAU (Prof. Dietmar Drummer, Chair of Polymer Technology). During a subsequent tour of the pilot plant at Neue Materialien Fürth - a research centre established by the region of Bavaria, Germany which cooperates with the FAU - the participants could see first-hand how topics researched at the university are brought closer to application.
Presentations by representatives from Audi and BMW described the initial experience that the automotive processing chain has gained with this material class, and identified promising aspects as well as potential challenges. Altogether the experts presented a positive evaluation of fibre-reinforced thermoplastic materials, indicating that investment in these materials will bring continued benefits.
Traditionally the SAMPE Innovation Awards are presented by Professor Dr.-Ing. Frank Henning (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Fraunhofer ICT and the SAMPE President of the German Chapter). The awards recognise exceptional scientific work in the field of fibre composites.
One award was presented to Martin Brust M.Sc. from RWTH Aachen. In his Master thesis he developed and investigated test specimens which allow the properties of the fibre/matrix interface of CFRP to be determined.
Another award was presented to Michael Gebhardt M.Sc. from the Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg. As part of his Master thesis, he investigated the processing parameters and the influence of humidity on the reconsolidation behaviour of continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic semi-finished products.
For the Innovation Awards 2017 at the next SAMPE Symposium, students and young scientists are invited to submit entries (in the field of fibre composites) to SAMPE Deutschland by December this year.
Ceramicx, Ireland, has completed an 1800 m2 expansion to its production facility, doubling capacity for the manufacture of infrared heating equipment for the composites industry.
Airtech Advanced Materials Group is introducing three new high temperature vacuum bagging materials for thermoplastic moulding processes up to 427°C.
The new laboratory facilities of recently founded TPAC (ThermoPlastic composites Application Centre) were opened by Anka Mulder, President of Saxion University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, on 14 September.