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BASF at the K 2013 with a first tape demonstrator part Kompozyty Ultracom w zautomatyzowanym procesie produkcji

Automated process sequence for composites parts with UD tapes

In the process sequence used here, the tape is first taken as a unidirectional (UD), impregnated fiber composite from the roll and laid down to form the desired lay-up sequence. The automated tape-laying step employs the production-scale RELAY technology available at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT). Next, the 2-D tape lay-up is consolidated with the aid of a suitable press, i.e. pressed under temperature, after which it is formed and overmolded with Ultramid COM in the final process step to yield the 3-D part. This involved an industrial-scale automated production cell for thermoplastic hybrid parts at Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH, the heart of which is a 2,500 t injection molding machine.

Although in contrast to composite parts made from woven fabric laminates (mats), the thermoplastic tape requires more processing effort, it offsets this by offering a more application-specific, local reinforcement based on the actual load path. The multi-part tape process is also more complex, but has less trim waste and provides higher performance than an approach with a fabric laminate.

Ultracom: BASF enters the market for composite materials

The Ultracom product and service package introduced mid-2013 consists of Ultralaminate mats (laminates) and impregnated unidirectional, continuous fiber-reinforced Ultratape (UD tapes), the appropriate Ultramid COM overmolding compounds, a polyamide (PA) family from BASF and the associated design and manufacturing expertise. With this package, BASF offers semi-finished thermoplastic materials together with the required injection molding compounds in a complete development platform. BASF presented the first part on the basis of the Ultracom package in June 2013. This part is a test component with 20 individual functions based on an Ultramid-overmolded laminate and was developed in-house for the new production cell at BASF.

Read more: Fairs 391 Plastics 534

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