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DEVELOPMENT OF SPLIT-FILM CO-KNITTED THERMOPLASTIC COMPOSITES

Objective


1. 1. A PP-film and a special sized glass fibre, which satisfy the requirements for PP Split-Warpknit textile structures, have been developed;
2. 2. A PETP film and a compatible glass fibre, which satisfy the requirements for PETP Split-Warpknit textile structures, have been selected;
3. 3. An Aramide/PEI weft insertion warp knitted textile structure has been developed;
4. 4. The techniques for splitting, stretching and producing warp beams have been developed, based on the "bobbins" technology;
5. 5. Existing knitting equipment and knitting technologies have been adapted to produce uni-axial and bi-axial Split-Warpknits in an efficient and economical way. Multi-axial Split-Warpknits are under development;
6. 6. The cost-efficiency of the Split-Warpknits can be increased considerably for long running structures by using the FSSB- or ISO-system;
7. 7. Preferably, the Split-Warpknits should be pre-consolidated to be used in the standard GMT-process;
8. 8. The industrial feasibility of the QUIKTEMP process has been proven on a demonstrator part (Upper Washer Spring Seat);
9. 9. The vibrational technique can improve processing, but seems to be beneficial only in special cases with suitable geometry and tool design;
10. 10. With the Split-Warpknits mechanical properties comparable to Twintex can be achieved, at lower cost;
11. 11. Different industrial demonstrator parts have been produced.

The findings and results obtained during the entire research and development period are a valuable basis for further, specific development tailored to certain applications, within the sector of long-fibre reinforced thermoplastic textile structures.
The industrial objectives of this research programme is the development of a thermoplastic preimpregnated textile structure, based on the split-film technology and the knitting technique, and the development of adequate processing techniques for mass production application (cycle time less than 2 minutes) and for high-end applications.

This research programme will result in a new class of composite materials which will be cost-effective to Woven Thermoplastic Fabrics, and which will have a higher performance/weight ratios than GMT, SMC, and similar materials.

To develop the split-film co-knitted thermoplastic composites, the following major research tasks have to be completed :

a. selection of material and development of a good coupling between fibre and matrix;
b. the transformation of the raw material to a thermoplastic pre impregnated structure;
c. development of a cost-effective processing technique, based on a good matrix-forming (wettability, fibre-polymer coupling), for short cycle time process-mass production and for high-performance moulding.
d. design and fabrication of test-products for both production methods.

Performance/weight ratio in the order of 5 to 7 times the ratio of GMT and considerable cost-saving compared to existing woven fabrics (about 25%) are forecast.

The economical opportunities are :

- mass production : automotive industry;
- high-end applications : machine equipment, sport and leisure, communication and aerospace.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

KARL MAYER TEXTILMASCHINENFABRIK GmbH
Address
Bruhlstraße 25
63179 Obertshausen
Germany

Participants (19)

ASGLAWO GMBH
Germany
BREMEN SA
Spain
Address
Barrio Atela 6
48100 Munguia
ENGTEX AB
Sweden
Address
Box 83
565 22 Mullsjo
GENERAL ELECTRIC PLASTICS
Netherlands
Address
Plasticslaan 1
4600 AM Bergen Op Zoom
IM-TECH INTERNATIONAL GmbH
Germany
Address
Auf Den Hohen 14
2830 Bassum
INST OF TECHNOLOGY LUND
Sweden
Address
P.o. Box 118
22100 Lund
IPA NV
Belgium
Address
Zoomstraat 6
9160 Lokeren
Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden eV
Germany
Address
Hohestraße 6
01069 Dresden
KUL
Belgium
Address
De Croylaan 2
3001 Leuven - Heverlee
LVD COMPANY NV
Belgium
Address
Nijverheidslaan 2
8560 Gullegem
MILLMASTERS NV
Belgium
Address
Esperanto Laan 1
3001 Haasrode
PRO ENG CO AB
Sweden
Address
Vangavaegen 19
240 10 Dalby
SAAB ERICSSON SPACE AB
Sweden
Address

40515 Goteborg
SATURN NV
Belgium
Address
Ambachtenstraat 60
8870 Izegem
SWEDISH INST FOR TEXTILE RESEARCH
Sweden
Address
Box 5402
402 29 Goteborg
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING
Belgium
Address
Aarschotsesteenweg 38
3012 Leuven
TUHH-Technologie-GmbH
Germany
Address
Eißendorfer Straße 38
21073 Hamburg
VOLVO CAR CORPORATION
Sweden
Address
Olofstroem
29380 Oloefstrom
Webster Mouldings Ltd
United Kingdom