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Lightweight, Energy-Efficient Tooling for the Manufacturing of Rotor Blades


This proposal argues that the main objectives of the undertaking, light-weight and energy-efficient tools, can be achieved by the creation of self-heating composite tools which are appli-cable in an RTM process. The aim is to establish a set of full-sized rotor blade tools for a low-cost and energy efficient RTM cycle. This contains two tools (upper and lower mold) for preforming, consecutively referred to as “preforming tool” and two molds that form the impregnation and curing cavity, consecutively referred to as “RTM tool”.

Considering the RTM tool, the self-heating property is to be achieved with heating elements that are integrated into the composite structure near the cavity surface. The carbon textile heat-ing elements are flexibly distributed in reference to the mould surface in such a manner, that temperature gradients over the entire tool can be created.
During the project alternative systems which offer the equivalent potentials for heating like electrically heat able coatings will be considered and evaluated. Enhanced local heating device capable of high and homogeneous temperature for tool manufacturing will be investigated.
Integration and enhancement of process simulation tools in the design process for the RTM tool will provide feedback on setup variants in terms of temperature and material property distri-bution like glass transition temperature and degree of cure, as well as the resulting part’s shape “as built”, and thereby will help to establish a RTM tool design including the advanced heating concept “first right”. Curing simulation is the tool of choice to analyse the thermal response of the tool part setup including the energy release due to the crosslinking reaction of the resin and is vital for virtual process and tool optimization.

To verify the achievements concerning environmental impact a gate to gate life cycle assessment will be performed.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
€ 276 750,00
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Elisabeth Ladstätter (Dr.)
Total cost
No data

Participants (2)