In the German Federal research programme aeronautics LuFo IV project CompTAB (Composite Tool chain and enhancement of As Built), the Institute of Structures and Design is collaborating with the Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems (project leaders) and a consortium from industry to build a continuous tool chain for the development of composite components. The focus of the research activity is on components made of endless fibre-reinforced, high-temperature thermoplastics.
The aim of the CompTAB project is to shorten development and manufacturing times for fibre-reinforced composite structures by means of efficient interdisciplinary collaboration. A core component of the project is the Concurrent Engineering Process (CEP), currently in development. This unifies the needs of every individual subprocess – from blueprint and design, through to manufacturing and quality assurance as an effective tool chain.
The term ‘Design As Built’ is intended to emphasise the manufacturing process and optimisation of the tool concept during the development phase carried out beforehand, and takes into consideration feedback from manufacturing errors and deviations in the implementation process. In this way, more reliable and robust prediction processes can ultimately be developed that better exploit the specific strength and stiffness properties of the fibre-reinforced composite materials and thus lead to a less conservative design and a reduction in weight.
Following completion of the project, the work will be continued using new, adapted moulding tools as part of the Thermoplastic Composite Structures scheme, in collaboration with the Department of Automation and Quality Assurance (AQP) in Augsburg.