Online-Production of Multi-Matrix-Prepreg in Automated-Fiber-Placement

3.MMPThis project pursues the establishment of an interdisciplinary research focus “individualized CFRP light-weight structures with the aid of flexible manufacturing technologies”. Overall, this research group is based on fundamental research projects as well as application-based research project with industrial partners. The Multi-Matrix-Prepreg (MMP) project is the first step of this local strategy and addresses the area of “material-side flexibility”.

Individualized structures made of fiber reinforced plastics (FRP), in particular carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), present a great economic and manufacturing challenge in serial production, e.g. of aircraft (hull, wing, side guide). Future competitiveness of Lower Saxony CFRP industry requires the implementation of new, flexible material, construction and manufacturing concepts. This can lead to a reduction in production costs and enable the production of further function-integrated components using CFRP to an increasing extent. Production sites that are currently producing CFRP components, such as the fuselage of the Airbus A350XWB, can be technologically strengthened for future developments. Novel Material solutions are part of the measures to further exploit the potential of CRFP. The main idea behind the project is to influence component properties by combining different matrix materials in an online impregnation process. The matrix materials can either be duroplastic, thermoplastic or an elastomer. During the online imprenation process the chosen different matrix materials can be combined at a set ratio. By using different matrix materials for one component the impact resistance, crack propagation resistance, weldability, stiffness and strenght of the finished product con be improved severely.

The objective of the collaborative project is to develop, implement and verify methods for the automated and quality-monitored production of multi-matrix laminates with continuous fibers, as well as to demonstrate the resulting application potentials. An innovative interdisciplinary approach is being developed from existing material and production concepts in order to realize MMLs with continuous fiber strands and locally selectively applied thermoplastic, elastomeric or duroplastic matrix material. In this process, the rovings are impregnated and consolidated online and in an innovative AFP tooling module. This is done in accordance to the locally used matrix material, the overall component requirements and taking into account the material-dependent process parameters.

Funding: Niedersächsisches Vorab, Volkswagen Foundation

Duration: 2016-2019

Dr. Carsten Schmidt