Organic sheet as a basis for lightweight construction
Dear Sir / Madam,
FIT Hybrid process receives JEC Innovation Award
Research association develops efficient production method for fibre-composite plastics
Having already been awarded the "Innovation Champion Top 30" award, the "FIT Hybrid" research team, in which Siebenwurst is a partner, has now received a second prestigious prize: The JEC Innovation Award. The FIT Hybrid process enables the particularly efficient production of large quantities of fibre-composite plastic hollow parts that are lightweight but can still bear very heavy loads. This makes lightweight construction possible without compromising comfort, safety and performance. The prize will be awarded during the JEC Composites trade fair.
FIT Hybrid combines moulding and forming processes in a single tool. The combination of organic sheet forming and injection moulding technology provides an extremely high degree of design flexibility and mechanical performance while also reducing the weight of the product. At the same time, different functions can be combined in a compact design. The process is suited to the car manufacturing sector and it can also be used in the aviation, aerospace and medical technology sectors, in the manufacture of sport and leisure products and in most lightweight construction applications.
With high-performance fibre composites, the fibre length of the fabric or non-crimp fabric corresponds to the component size. Organic sheet is highly rigid and mechanically durable thanks to its high degree of orientation and the high packing density of the long fibres or continuous filaments used. The thermoplastics used as matrix materials cannot only be easily formed, welded and moulded, they are also easy to store and recycle. In conventional manufacturing processes, lightweight composite structures are formed in multi-level processes and then glued or welded together in subsequent working stages. The FIT Hybrid process, on the other hand, enables integrative manufacturing.
The hybrid structures achieve strength values comparable to those of steel, and combine material and constructive lightweight construction, the latter of which is even possible with glass fibre-reinforced organic sheets and without the use of expensive carbon fibres. Cost efficiency is increased both by significantly shorter process chains and short cycle times, allowing components to be produced in large quantities and in a cost-effective way while keeping production in time with the customer’s demands. Another bonus is the energy saved in production.
The FIT Hybrid project is a collaboration between the development institute Neue Materialien Fürth GmbH, industrial partners Audi AG, Schaumform GmbH, Jacob Plastics GmbH and Christian Karl Siebenwurst Modell- und Formenbau GmbH & Co. KG, together with the Institute for Polymer Technology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. The project is subsidised by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and supervised by the project executing organisation Jülich. As part of this team, Siebenwurst developed the tool used for manufacturing the component.
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Siebenwurst network partner: Bond-Laminates
Organic sheet specialists
Founded in 1997, Bond-Laminates is one of the leading manufacturers of thermoplastic fibre-composite materials. The company, which has its headquarters in the German town of Brilon, sells these under the brand name TEPEX®. These continuous filament-reinforced thermoplastics, also known as organic sheet, are used whenever a combination of high rigidity and strength with low density is required.
The lightweight construction material TEPEX® can be processed in very short cycles, and can therefore be used for large volumes. Combining TEPEX® forming with injection moulding processes makes cycle times of less than one minute possible even for complex geometries. Bond-Laminates use glass, carbon and aramid fibres, and combines these with different thermoplastics, for example polyamides (PA6 and PA66), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polypropylene (PP). The company is currently a supplier for the automotive, sport product and consumer goods sectors, among others.