As local reinforcements, thermoplastic tapes enable to improve product properties of injection molded parts and at the same time to save costs due to an efficient use of materials: Increased stiffness and strength, higher surface hardness and improved optics offer small and medium-sized injection molders in particular product advantages for conventional injection molded parts. However, the majority of injection molders use thermoplastic tapes and their potential only occasionally.
Involving Injection Molders, Tape Manufactures, Machine and Tool Builders and OEMs and Tier 1sThe experts at RWTH Aachen University are working on a systematic overview of injection molding applications that are particularly suitable for being optimized with the use of thermoplastic tapes. The focus is particularly on conventional injection molded parts and not exclusively on typical lightweight applications. Another important result of the project will be a comprehensive documentation of the state of the art of relevant methods and technologies for component development and production. Through the active involvement of the entire supply chain, all companies involved will benefit from the knowledge and exchange generated: Development and manufacturing processes will be analyzed and developed that help injection molders in particular to use thermoplastic tapes in their production and to evaluate the potential of the technology. Tape manufacturers and machine and tool builders will gain insight into the requirements and challenges of using thermoplastic tapes from the perspective of processors. OEMs and Tier 1s benefit from the direct exchange with suppliers for communicating their needs and requirements and jointly evaluating applications.
Six Months and three Phases leading to a GuidelineAfter a classification of development processes of injection molders as well as identification of applications, the 6-months study will lead to recommendations for actions: Business cases for hybrid thermoplastic parts will give concrete examples for parts. Recommendation for action to overcome technical and organizational barriers will be given together with a practical guide including guidelines for project initiation, design, manufacturing and planning.
Source: AZL Aachen GmbH