Tape-lay­ing ma­chine

Tape-laying machine
Tape-lay­ing ma­chine
Image 1/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Tape-laying machine

The tape-lay­ing ma­chine con­sists of a robot on a lin­ear track, a ro­tat­able arm and a ro­tary/tilt ta­ble.
Detailed view
De­tailed view
Image 2/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Detailed view

At the end of the robot­ic arm sits a spe­cial head that places one to three strips of fi­bre-re­in­forced plas­tic on a mould, par­tial­ly melts them us­ing a laser and thus builds up the de­sired com­po­nent lay­er by lay­er.
General view
Gen­er­al view
Image 3/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

General view

The fa­cil­i­ty makes it pos­si­ble to man­u­fac­ture com­po­nents with a length of up to 3.6 me­tres, a di­am­e­ter of 1.8 me­tres and a width of up to two me­tres.
Detailed view
De­tailed view
Image 4/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Detailed view

The mould is fixed on the ro­tary/tilt ta­ble and gives the struc­ture its fi­nal con­tour.

The tape-laying machine at the DLR Institute of Structures and Design in Stuttgart is used for developing competitive, innovative manufacturing processes for hybrid, uniform fibre-composite structures for aeronautics and space, transport technology and the aircraft engine industry. The automated tape-laying process is focused on fibre-composite materials with a thermoplastic matrix.

High-performance plastics, layer by layer

The tape-laying machine for thermoplastic, semi-finished products at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) site in Stuttgart consists of a robot moving on a linear track, a rotatable arm and a rotary/tilt table. At the end of the robotic arm is a special head that lays one to three strips of material onto a mould, partially melts them using a laser, and thus builds up the required component layer by layer. The strips of material are between six and 25 millimetres wide and made of a carbon-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic, a special type of plastic in which carbon fibres are added to improve rigidity and strength.

Thermoplastics can be formed under the influence of heat and can also be welded. The facility makes it possible to manufacture components with a length of up to 3.6 metres, a diameter of 1.8 metres and a width of up to two metres. Possible components range from flat and double-curved panels and round profiles to special shapes for standard and innovative material testing. The materials are used in the production of series components such as fan blades or guide vanes for aircraft engines, large-scale fuselage components, pressure vessels and pipes.

Contact
  • Volker Speelmann
    Head of Cen­tral Ex­pen­di­ture Man­age­ment
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4103
    Fax: +49 2203 601 4115
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Sebastian Nowotny
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of Struc­tures and De­sign
    Com­po­nent De­sign and Man­u­fac­tur­ing Tech­nolo­gies
    Pfaffenwaldring 38-40
    70569 Stuttgart
    Contact

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