New research will demonstrate the localised placement of different fibre-reinforced thermoplastic tapes in a single component, to create locally reinforced structures that are fully weight-optimised. Using different reinforcement fibres (polymer, glass, carbon) synergistically in the same thermoplastic polymer matrix has the potential to produce structural components with both optimised performance and weight. NetComposites is currently bringing together a European partnership of companies to develop this technology for a range of application areas, including aerospace, automotive and sporting goods. The project will concentrate on direct manufacture of components from tape-laying, as well as the production of tailored blanks for stamp forming.
The project will be led by a group of companies that want to explore the potential of selective tape-laid components, and NetComposites is looking for additional companies to join this end-user group to steer the project. Companies would have input into the specification of properties, applications and markets. It is anticipated that funding for the project will be through the European Commission’s Framework 7 funding programme.