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Content archived on 2024-06-11

Multiaxial Textile Performs for Complex Structural Composite Parts

Objective



Objectives and content
The transport equipment industry has a very strong interest in light weight constructions resulting from the demand for reductions of fuel consumption and emissions. Another important goal is to minimize maintenance costs. Composites with oriented long fibre reinforcements have shown the highest potential to reach these goals. The ultimate technical objective of the MULTEXCOMP project is to be able to produce lightweight (50% lower than steel), low maintenance (50% of present) complex shaped composite structural parts at acceptable costs for transport equipment and sporting goods.
To be able to use long fibre reinforcement economically-and to improve damage resistance, near-net shaped integral preforms are needed. These can be produced by the textile technologies which are to be developed in the project: braiding, weft and warp knitting, weaving and two types of stitching. Demonstrator parts have been defined that represent common design problems in various application areas: aeronautics (demo-part is a helicopter gearbox subassembly), marine (demo-parts are hull segment and underwater parts), automotive (demo-parts are spaceframe components) and sporting goods (demo-parts are lugs, helmets and wheels for bicycles).
The consortium consists of a large transport equipment company (Daimler Benz), a helicopter manufacturer (Eurocopter), a company specialized in composite shipbuilding (Intermarine), a manufacturer of flat bed knitting machines (Stoll), an industrial group specialised in aeronautic and aerospace technologies (Aerospatiale), a supplier of warp-knitted materials (Müller), a supplier of weaves (CTMI), two universities (KU Leuven and Uni. d. Zaragoza) and a sporting goods part manufacturer (Bicompor).
The project structure consists of the combination of technology and application development: 6 state-of-the-art textile technologies are developed together with 10 demonstrator parts in which textile preforms are to be used. Textile development is highly interactive with part development. Textile technologies compete for some applications, and are combined in others. The part and technology development is supported by characterization through testing of textile preform samples, micromechanical modelling of textile structures and by macromechanical modelling of parts in which these textile preforms are used (based on FEM analysis with the micromechanically modelled unit cells). The work is strongly related to the two other RTD lines: micromechanical modelling supports the textile technology development by better insight in the misrostructures and macromechanical modelling / design tool development supports the part design and optimization.

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