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Toho Tenax Europe has received the 2013 AVK Innovation Award in the category of Innovative Products for its newly developed high-efficiency production technology for thermoset carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
The company explains the technology, called Part via Preform (PvP), is based on a one-step “bobbin to preform” process. Toho Tenax Europe developed its PvP technology by utilising Tenax binder yarn, which combines carbon fibres with binder resin. This yarn allows the automated manufacturing of preforms directly into the three-dimensional geometry of the final component. By combining randomly orientated carbon fibres with unidirectional carbon fibres, preforms achieve a trade-off between mechanical properties and cost.
Toho Tenax Europe claims that since this automated technology allows preforms to be manufactured in any desired geometry or form, it significantly reduces both the amount of carbon fibre waste and the amount of manual labour required compared to conventional preform production. The result is a highly-efficient, cost-effective solution enabling optimal manufacturing of components with the required shapes and properties.
The PvP technology can be used in conjunction with the high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) process, in which resin is injected and cured in less than two minutes, leading to shorter cycle times than the conventional low-pressure RTM process.
The annual AVK Innovation Award is organised by Germany’s Federation of Reinforced Plastics and recognises outstanding innovations in the composites industry. The award was presented at the International AVK Conference held from September 16th to 17th in Stuttgart, Germany, in conjunction with the Composites Europe trade fair.
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