In the proposal, a new innovative technique based on melt impregnation is introduced and will be studied, which promises to provide a way to manufacture continuously fibre reinforced thermoplastics prepregs at low cost and high volume. In contrast to existing techniques, where the impregnation step is discontinuous (though the process as such is a continuous one), e.g. takes place in the contact with pins in a bath of molten polymer, in the novel technique, the impregnation step i continuous. This is achieved by combining two new ideas: Firstly, the fibre bundle is guided over a porous body, through which the melt is extruded, and secondly the flow resistance of (the melt through) the porous body is set higher than that through the fibre bundle, causing uniform melt flow through the fibre bundle. By varying the impregnation tool design (the shape and the permeability of the porous body) and the process conditions (melt temperature and line speed) and determining the impregnation degree and mechanical properties of the produced prepreg, the performance of the new impregnation technique ca be evaluated. To fully understand the impregnation step a model will be developed, which considers melt flow through two porous medias (impregnation tool and fibre bundle), which will allow to predict the quality (impregnation degree) of the produced prepreg.
Training content (objective. benefit and expected impact)
The modelling of the above mentioned research work with respect to a two porous medieas (impregnation tool and fibre bundle) is one of the expertise areas of the host. This will enable the applicant to gain knowledge of modelling very efficiently and adapt this knowledge to the above mentioned problem. It is expected that the applicant will become also an expert in the field of modelling.