Tackling high cost of composites
Fiber reinforced composites offer many properties that allow a technically better solution compared to metallic materials: These cover, among other things, the high specific mechanical properties, which predestine the material for lightweight construction, but also low thermal expansion, a high degree of vibration damping and the integral design possibilities. However, major challenges lie in the design of the anisotropic material as well as in the often high costs. With the prevailing manufacturing techniques for carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), an economic use of the material, especially in medium to large quantities, is hardly conceivable.
BIONTEC’s novel approach: textile technology and biomimetic design
Based on 150 years’ experience in textile technology combined with comprehensive know-how in fiber reinforced plastics the company has developed its own manufacturing process from fiber to finished component for large serial production.
BIONTEC adapted Tailored Fiber Placement (TFP) for high volume production and thus allows an efficient and robust preform manufacturing.
By sewing the reinforcing fiber onto a carrier material the optimum material combination for each specific challenge can be chosen. According to biomimetic design BIONTEC aims to achieve the best performance with minimum material usage by placing fibers aligned to the load path within the net shape of the component. By combining different layers of fiber into one stitched layup preforming can be simplified significantly. For more complex parts, several layups are combined like a puzzle into a three-dimensional stable preform. A high degree of automation reduces costs and typical defects such as gaps, fiber misalignment, wrinkles and so forth.
This article appeared in the September–October 2019 issue of Reinforced Plastics.