NetComposites
Thermwood

Breakthrough in Composite Processing Times

16 January 2019

Breakthrough in Composite Processing Times

Shape Machining is today launching the Shape FastForm process developed specifically to drastically reduce the time it takes to manufacture thermoplastic carbon composite parts.

Managing Director, Peter McCool said, “We have developed this technology as part of our road map strategy for high volume composite part manufacture. The ability to manufacture carbon parts in minutes, reliably and in a fully automatable process is a significant breakthrough. I am confident that this process will allow us to manufacture high volumes of composite parts for a wide variety of industry sectors. We aim to be the UK centre of excellence for thermoplastic composite production.”

The generic footplate design, that was used as the development part, was pressed in a sub 2-minute cycle time. The proprietary, patent protected technology rapidly heated and cooled the unconsolidated carbon thermoplastic preform, in a closed mould, at 80 bar pressure and consolidated it into the finished parts. The finished parts are not only produced quickly, in what Shape believes to be record breaking time, but they appear to be completely void free.

The Shape FastForm process has been used to test a whole range of thermoplastic materials, from a wide variety of material suppliers. Every material that was tested was processed quicker than Shape Engineers had observed from any other composite processing technology.

Shape expects this technology to have benefits for any industry that requires high volume, high quality, composite parts.

McCool continued, “For production runs from 50 – 30,000 per annum the FastForm process should be the most cost-effective solution for composite part manufacture. But we already know that when the process is fully automated, and it can be, production volumes of 100,000 per tool per annum are possible.”

Shape has developed a team and a technology ready to deliver customer production quantities of carbon composite parts.

McCool added, “I am really proud of this game-changing technology and the team of Engineers, technicians that have developed it.”


Photo provided by Shape Machining




Share this story


Related / You might like...

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Hosts 2nd CIRP Conference

The 2nd CIRP Conference on Composite Material Parts Manufacturing (CCMPM) will take place on 10-11 October 2019 at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre's Knowledge Transfer Centre, Rotherham, UK.

Haydale in Collaborative SMART Expertise Programme

Haydale is pleased to announce that it is working alongside Swansea University, GTS Flexibles, Alliance Labels, Tectonic International, ScreenTec, Alliance Labels, Malvern Panalytical and the English Institute of Sport on a Welsh Government SMART Expertise Program.

Bindatex Showcasing New Thermoplastic UD Tape Splicing Capability At JEC

Bindatex  will showcase its new thermoplastic splicing capability at JEC World 2019.