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E!10532 +/- 45° Tape Weaving Technology for cost effective Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic Manufacturing

Alternative title: +/- 45° band-vevningsteknologi for kostnadseffektiv karbonfiber-forsterket plasttilvirkning

Awarded: NOK 4.7 mill.

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Project Period:

2016 - 2019

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Weight reduction and cost efficient lightweight solutions/materials to be used in aircrafts and cars have been, and will always be, topical. Historically, we have seen most lightweight development within metals (high strength steels, aluminium etc.), but the industry has reached a point where it is hard to push development for lightweight metals any further without adding too much cost. Composites and carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) become an interesting alternative instead. Still COST is a huge barrier for these industries to fully start using CFRP and there is a strong need for innovation, over the entire CFRP value chain (Fibre Production->Converting/Weaving->Prepregging->CFRP manufacturing->OEM->Buyer), to get more cost effective and stable manufacturing and processing technologies adapted for volume production. If innovation is able to produce cost efficient CFRP it will result in a much larger market penetration. A solution to the problem would be to move away from traditional converting methods in the converting step and start using Spread Tow woven Fabrics (STF) in 0/90° and +/-45° orientations. Compared to the traditional methods spread tow fabrics would have a positive cost and performance effect on carbon fibre production, converting and composite manufacturing. During the project period and together with the lead project partner Oxeon AB in Sweden, a new weaving technology for continuous production of a completely new material, Spread Tow Carbon Fabric (STF), with fiber oriented at +/- 45 degree angles has been developed. The goal is for the material to achieve 20% weight and 35% cost savings, which enables growth in volume markets for carbon fiber composite products. The goal for the project has been met. A machine concept has been developed and tests have shown that the set goals for performance, weight, cost and quality can be achieved for all stages of the value chain. Manufacturers of volume products such as the aerospace and automotive industries, may use the new materials to reduce the weight of their products, which will reduce the energy consumption and thus reduce the environmental impact.

The result of the project is a verified, new weaving machine technology concept for the manufacture of Spread Tow Carbon Fabric materials at +/-45 degree angles as well as verified methods for impregnating the material and manufacturing of composite products.

The X-Weaving project objective and expected outcome is to develop a new weaving technology to continuously produce a new material, Spread Tow Carbon Fabrics (STF), with fibers oriented in +/-45° angles. A spread tow carbon fabric is a lightweight material that together with plastic is used to produce carbon reinforced plastics (CFRP). CFRP is an advanced material used to reduce weight in cars and aircrafts and thereby save energy and subsequently reduce emissions and the environmental impact. The project goal is to: - Develop, design and install a pilot line to demonstrate a +/-45° Tape Weaving Technology at a commercial level. - Establish a supply chain for the +/-45° Tape Weaving Technology - Produce a new material: +/-45° STF - Validate if it is possible to make CFRP manufacturing 35% more cost effective by using +/-45° STF - Validate if it is possible achieve 20% weight savings, compared to existing solution, by using +/-45° STF in aerospace and automotive application Oxeon AB in Sweden is the main participant and Fimtech AS will be the partner participant.

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