Cevotec successfully introduces extended application spectrum of Fiber Patch Placement Technology at Composites Europe Stuttgart

Cevotec CTO Felix Michl presents Fiber Patch Placement technology at Composites Europe Stuttgart (PresseBox) (Taufkirchen bei München, ) With the scalable SAMBA Series concept, Cevotec extends the possibilities of Fiber Patch Placement. With SAMBA Scale, SAMBA Pro and SAMBA Step, equipment options are available for series production with 100 kg fiber throughput per hour as well as cost-effective prototyping. The modular production system attracted much attention at Composites Europe Stuttgart (September 19 - 21).

"Fiber Patch Placement for series production of complex preforms yields a new level of automation and material efficiency that conventional lay-up processes cannot provide," states Thorsten Groene, Managing Director of Cevotec. Lay-up processes with a high material throughput usually produce 2D preforms, which then are formed to shape in press. This is an additional production step and causes additional costs. On the other end, 3D printers produce complex, filigree geometries without additional forming steps, but have a low material throughput and long production cycles.

With Fiber Patch Placement, complex-shaped 3D preforms are created in a single automated process without additional forming, using about 30% less material than conventional technologies. In the easy-to-use digital design process, the load-oriented fiber laminate, including locally-adjusted thicknesses if required, are specified. The finished parts are characterized by a stiffness and strength that is up to 150% above those of classically manufactured components.

Given the scalability of the manufacturing system, Fiber Patch Placement is now available for almost every production setting. In high-volume production, the production cells process up to 15 kg of material per hour. Combined as production lines, the SAMBA Scale cells reach a constant throughput of up to 100 kg per hour, even when producing highly complex 3D-preforms. SAMBA Pro, the flexible “allrounder” of the production cells, produces complex-shaped 3D-preforms with a layup speed of 1 patch per second (2-3 kg fibers per hour), and is particularly suited for a flexible, high-volume batch production of components, given its short set-up times and rapid tool changing system. SAMBA Step, the third pre-configured system variant, is perfectly aligned with the requirements of small scale production, prototyping and R&D, also regarding its price tag. A flexible degree of automation allows the adaptation to the needs of developers. "At the moment, all systems process bindered dry carbon and glass fiber," explains Felix Michl, CTO of Cevotec, "but we are currently testing the processing of prepreg fibers. A development in which our clients are very interested in and that attracted much attention, not only at the Composites Europe show.”

At Composites Europe in Stuttgart, the rapid, continuous development of the Fiber Patch Placement technology were among the audience magnets. The next opportunity to meet Cevotec personally and first-hand information about the technology will be the GoCarbon Fiber Conference from October 10 to 12 in Munich. At the end of the year, Cevotec will also be present at the Composites and Advanced Materials Exposition (CAMX) in Orlando, Florida (December 11-14).

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Daniela Klotz
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