Superior properties of thermoplastic composites create next generation products
The superior properties of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic uni-directional tape (CFRT UD tape) create next generation products that will affect our daily lives.
The material properties make it extremely suitable for lightweight automotive and aircraft parts, impact and corrosion resistant wind blades to hockey sticks and tennis rackets. The wide range of possibilities are yet to be discovered.
UD tape is produced in 6"or 12" wide rolls. In order to reduce waste during production, UD tapes are slitted into narrower tapes. The narrower UD tapes are automatically processed into product-specific laminates through automated tape laying (ATL) or automated fiber placement (AFP). The laminates are then consolidated and formed into parts for final application.
Thermoplastic composite UD tape was not an accessible production material for all industries. It requires a certain amount of investment in resources and knowledge and as a result, a high cost price. In recent years, Boikon has invested heavily in technologies such as tape laying and slitting to make the processing of thermoplastic UD tapes cost-effective.
Continuous ultrasonic tacking technology
In 2009, Boikon, in collaboration with Fokker Aerostructures, developed an ultrasonic tacking (welding) technology that tacks UD tapes ultrasonically on a continuous basis. Continuous ultrasonic tacking is a unique and groundbreaking innovation for ATL and AFP technologies in terms of speed, safety and efficiency.
It reduces processing time, improves the reliability of the process en thereby the quality of the final product. A safe, efficient and reliable technology that significantly reduces cost.
Software tape laying
The CAD/CAM software is a Windows-based software package developed to design laminates in a simple and efficient way. The software automatically determines the optimal placement strategy and generates the corresponding CAM file to control the Falko Automated Tape Layer. The CAD/CAM software also offers the possibility to export the designed product to Aniform.
Verification of thermoplastic laminates during production
Verification of the production process is essential. Due to the high accuracy of the tape laying process, it is extremely difficult to detect gaps or overlaps between UD tapes. This process is also very time-consuming, which is at the expense of valuable output. In most cases the verification process is performed manually by the naked eye. To do this, the machine has to be idle.
The real-time gap and laminate verification system measures and verifies gaps and overlaps during the production of the laminate. This saves valuable time and the entire laminate is verified during production.