During the last two decades more and more components made out of thermoplastic composites have been established in engineering applications.
In order to profit from the high-strength of the reinforcing fibres, new designs and manufacturing processes have to be developed and improved until the full industrial usability is reached. For the production of continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites, i.e. composites with anisotropic properties, a two step process is requested, the first to obtain pre-impregnated intermediate materials, the second to manufacture parts.
The development of such components is therefore dependent on the production of sophisticated intermediate materials. At the present there is still a lack in European and NIS countries, especially in Russia and Belarus.
Within this project a melt impregnation process will be developed to an industrial level. For this purpose the fundamental aspects of impregnation mechanisms, i.e. flow of the viscous non-Newtonian fluid (polymeric melt) through the stochastically distributed, mobile fibres, will be investigated and studied. Experimental investigations with several fibre systems will also be used for improvement of the mathematical model describing the impregnation process. In a further step impregnation devices will be designed.
Two strategies will be followed parallelly in the next step. First, process control and parameter variation in order to compare experimentally gained results with the mathematical prediction, and second, the optimization of process parameters, shape of the die as well as fibre surface treatment will be done.
A special aim is to improve process speed in order to approach the processing speed of the continuous component manufacturing processes.
Having developed such kind of process the manufacturing process of parts by tape winding, pultrusion, and combined winding-injection moulding will be attached directly after the impregnation. This reduces energy costs (remelting of the intermediate material is omitted) and production time.
It is necessary for the winding-injection moulding process to use the same polymer for tape impregnation and injection.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts