From idea to series production-ready fiber composite solutions


From idea to series production-ready fiber composite solutions
| Petra Rehmet

KraussMaffei at JEC in Paris

At JEC World, KraussMaffei is highlighting its leading system expertise in developing and implementing series production-ready processes for fiber-reinforced lightweight construction. The focus of the trade show appearance is on new processes and applications that are based on both thermoset and thermoplastic matrix materials. The FiberForm process, pultrusion and unidirectional (UD) tapes are front and center.

Quantities of over 1 million per year

For the first time at JEC, a continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic series-produced lightweight component with a unit quantity of over 1 million per year is being exhibited. It is manufactured by forming and back-injecting stable fiber-reinforced composites, known as organo sheets. The organo sheet, which is only 0.5 mm thick, ensures the required stiffness with a low dead weight and makes a major contribution to weight savings (up to 4 kg/vehicle).

Functional and visible components with partial reinforcement in the one-shot process:
Functional and visible components with partial reinforcement in the one-shot process:
The combination of multicomponent technology and FiberForm opens up countless opportunities for functional lightweight construction in visible automotive parts

An additional sample component from a research project with the Dresden University of Technology demonstrates the use of recycled materials such as recycled carbon fibers and remanufactured compounds. In another groundbreaking innovation, the injection molding production technology called foam molding was implemented on a complex geometry. This technology makes it possible to produce thermoplastic sandwich structures with fiber-reinforced cover layers in a one-shot process

The third application, a successful combination of FiberForm and swivel plate technology for multi-component injection molding, is a center armrest for the automotive interior. It will be on display in the Planet Area Automotive at JEC. This combination can be used to create completely new visual and haptic component features for thermoplastic composites in a single process. The TPE component gives the functional and visible parts of the center armrest an outstandingly soft and visually appealing surface.

"We give our customers advice independent of the process and accompany them along the entire journey, from idea to series production-ready fiber composite solutions. This expertise is what sets us apart, along with our experience and the worldwide references from serial producers." 
Nicolas Beyl, President of the Reaction Process Machinery Segment at KraussMaffei Group

New standards for pultrusion with iPul

With the system solution launched on the market in 2017, the company has set new standards in pultrusion, a continuous process for fiber-reinforced profiles and round bars. The iPul system faster production speed compared to usual open bath processes

Our system solution has taken the market by storm:
Our system solution has taken the market by storm:
iPul systems from KraussMaffei are perfect for pultruded profiles and rods in construction and the wind power industry

The new technology is attracting massive interest in the construction industry, for example for window profiles or rebar in concrete, or in wind power. In this field, KraussMaffei recently got a series order for a large project in Russia.  However, the automotive industry offers a great deal of potential, as does the energy and power supply sector. In this field,  KraussMaffei has launched two forward-looking development projects with Tier1 suppliers and the Fraunhofer IGCV. 

"Pultrusion offers cost-effective production of fiber composite profiles with a low barrier to entry in terms of investment in systems and tooling. This makes lightweight construction as attractive as can be."
Philipp Zimmermann, Head of the Composites/Surfaces Business Unit

First-class surfaces for large components

The long-fiber injection process is ideal for large-format, complex and simultaneously thin-walled parts. Typical end applications include finishers for trucks, commercial vehicles and agricultural machines. Here, we continue to see incredible potential in the market, particularly in China and the US. 

Ideal for large-format, contoured parts:
Ideal for large-format, contoured parts:
A finisher for agricultural machines made using the LFI process

The high degree of automation ensures short cycle times. The high fiber volume content of up to 50 percent guarantees high component stability and low weight at the same time. LFI components feature high temperature stability and excellent impact strength and have surfaces that can be used directly off-mold. At JEC, KraussMaffei is presenting a series component for a tractor side cover.

Clever combination of UD tapes and FiberForm

Extrusion specialists KraussMaffei Berstorff have raised their game even further in the FiberForm process with UD tapes. UD tapes feature unidirectional reinforcement fibers made of materials such as glass or carbon that are embedded in a thermoplastic matrix.

UD tapes are the ideal basis for organo sheets for the FiberForm process. Another important application for UD tapes is in thermoplastic composite pipes (TCP). A TCP system wraps UD tapes around plastic pipes and then melts the layers. This composite material and the orientation of the longitudinal fibers gives them incredible pressure resistance and makes them exceptionally well suited for the requirements of the oil and gas industry.

In developing the UD tape technologies, KraussMaffei is working hand-in-hand with the Fraunhofer Pilot Plant Center for Polymer Synthesis and Processing (PAZ) in Schkopau, Germany. Since 2017, the Center has had a new UD tape system, the world's largest melt-impregnation plant.

"We can't wait to show customers our rock-solid system expertise at JEC. We're taking our expertise from extrusion and thermoplastic lightweight construction with injection molding technology to develop new and ingenious solutions in lightweight construction."
Hilmar Heithorst, Product Manager KraussMaffei Berstorff

KraussMaffei at JEC World Paris, March 12 - 14, 2019
Hall 6, Booth R28

Conatct Pultrusion/LFI

Head of Composites/Surfaces Business Unit

Contact FiberForm

Product Manager FiberForm

Contact UD-Tapes

Product Manager KraussMaffei Berstorff
Find articles with similar topics:
More articles like this
Smart automation for the whole world

Smart automation for the whole world

01.02.2023 | Petra Rehmet

No winter sports without plastics

No winter sports without plastics

01.02.2023 | Katharina Knaut

FiberForm for large-series production

FiberForm for large-series production

01.02.2023 | Dr. Ing. Mesut Cetin, Michael Thienel