To fully exploit the potential of lightweight composite structures it is necessary to have a detailed understanding of all physical and chemical parameters that have an impact on the final component quality. Most of these parameters have to be adjusted during the manufacturing procedure which means that there is a high potential for process optimisation. On the other hand there is a significant risk because inaccurate process parameters will inevitably lead to inacceptable results. To solve this problem our approach is to directly control all crucial production parameters in a way that the outcome of the production process is highly reproducible on the highest possible level. In order to do this different sensors and adequate control strategies for geometrical parameters like e.g. local fibre volume fractions and for structural parameters like e.g. residual stresses are under development to realise smart and mature manufacturing concepts.
"From the idea to the prototype and beyond"
Even though creating composite components simply means to embed load bearing fibres in a polymer matrix the variety of technical approaches is nearly as multifarious as the field of applications itself. Within the last 30 years all baseline manufacturing processes like filament winding, prepreg lay-up, Liquid Resin Infusion and RTM processing have been considered and further developed in order to meet the demands of the various research and development projects.
To ensure the highest possible productivity in terms of cycle times and reproducibility at acceptable costs the actual focus is on the utilisation of industrial automation equipment for composite manufacturing strategies.