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Electroimpact, Toray And Janicki Advance Processing Technologies For Rapid Manufacture Of Large Thermoplastic Composite Parts

Electroimpact, Toray And Janicki Advance Processing Technologies For Rapid Manufacture Of Large Thermoplastic Composite Parts

A joint advancement between Electroimpact, Toray Advanced Composites, and Janicki Industries has achieved a leap forward in the high-speed manufacture of large thermoplastic composite parts. The project has resulted in the extension of automated, cost-effective processing technologies that can manufacture large-scale thermoplastic parts at high-speed deposition rates of up to 4000 inches (100 meters) per minute.

 

Electroimpact, High-speed Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) equipment has been enhanced for processing thermoplastic materials with a Variable-Spot-Size Laser heating system. This system uses a wide range of processing temperatures for robust process control across single tows to accommodate severe contours while allowing thermoplastic composite parts to be repairable during AFP lay-up, thereby decreasing the risk of wastage throughout the manufacturing process.

 

Processing speeds of up to 4000 IPM (100 m/min) have been achieved with light or heavy tack levels to guarantee part geometry. “When these advancements are combined with increased AFP reliability, in-process real-time inspection and maintenance intervals, the resulting AFP 4.0 processing increases 4x-6x current productivity”, Michael Assadi, Chief Engineer at Electroimpact”.

 

To maximize production performances, the AFP layup is developed directly on an out-of autoclave heated lay-up tooling system, engineered by Janicki Industries, which is then fully consolidated in-situ, achieving a complete thermal process cycle in less than one hour. The tooling mode is designed for scalability to support parts that are too large for traditional heated press applications and achieves significantly faster cycle times than high-temperature autoclaves.

 

For more details: www.toraytac.com

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