Two AZL projects will successfully be finished this year – “New Designs for Low-Cost and Energy-Efficient Double-Belt Presses” and “iComposite 4.0 – Development of an integrative and selfregulating production system for structural composite parts”
New Designs for Low-Cost and Energy-Efficient Double-Belt Presses
In the first project phase of AZL’s Joint Partner Project “New Designs for Low-Cost and Energy-Efficient Double-Belt Presses”, the AZL, together with seven partner companies, developed a prototype for proof-of-principle of a novel cost and energy-efficient double-belt press system for the continuous production of composite sheets.
After the successful first project a Follow-Up project was proposed and started to progress on the developed double-belt press system with the aim to build an industry-scaled machine according to the pursued concepts.
The prototype comprises inductive heating of belts to a maximum temperature of 250°C to 290°C, elastic rollers for areal pressure application with a maximum pressure of 23 bar and a pressure ratio up to 24 % within the pressure module. The machine furthermore provides different pressure profiles within the pressure module and has a potential energy saving of greater than 50 % compared to state-of-the-art systems. It also offers the impregnation of fabrics, a fast consolidation of UD-tapes and the lamination of multilayered materials.
AZL is looking back on two successful finished projects regarding the double belt press and is starting a third project regarding the machine in September 2019.
iComposite 4.0 – Development of an integrative and self-regulating production system for structural composite parts
The public funded project which started in 2016 is addressing the possibilities of composites as a key enabling technology to tackle social challenges such as the electrification of vehicles, the inefficient material usage, limited automation and high rejection rates during production.
The outcome is a production system which combines the direct preforming technologies 3D fiber spraying and towpreg placement with a HP-RTM process for structural composite parts. In addition to a significant reduction in fiber scrap, the production system is capable to evaluate the effects of its own production fluctuations and – for the first time – to autonomously compensate these in the towpreg placement step. The cost saving potential of 50 % compared to classic, textile-based RTM process chains is demonstrated via the case study of an automotive floor pan.
The project will successfully come to an end with a final project meeting in September.