- Machine produces interlocked woven spacer fabrics & cellular textile structures in a single step
- Application: automotive, metal replacement of structural parts
- JEC Innovation Awards winner, category: Reinforcements
18 partner companies have developed a new system for the industrial manufacturing of textile-reinforced thermoplastic composites. The key to the so-called 3D-LightTrans system consists in combining hybrid yarn technology, on the one hand, with advanced textile weaving and processing methods, on the other. This project features industrial processing of 3D textiles in a structural variety and geometrical complexity not attained before in large-scale manufacturing, according to Xedera e.U., Austria.
Machine produces interlocked woven spacer fabrics and cellular textile structures in a single step
Production is realized by a newly developed machine, which can produce interlocked woven spacer fabrics and cellular textile structures in a single step, combined with the capability for automated deep draping and fixation of thick multilayer fabrics in complex three-dimensional geometries. Moreover, the use of hybrid yarn allows for a particularly easy processing and consolidation of the composite: glass fibers (reinforcement material) and thermoplastic filaments (matrix) are already integrated in the “hybrid” yarn at the beginning of the supply chain.
Highly homogeneous distribution of thermoplastic filaments and glass fiber
The 3D-LightTrans hybrid yarn made of PET/glass, or other material combinations, can easily be woven into textiles, since the technology has been optimized to keep the abrasion of the yarn at a minimum during weaving. In this yarn, the distribution of thermoplastic filaments and glass fiber is highly homogeneous, and a special sizing maximizes the adhesion of the glass fiber to the matrix. This guarantees optimal results and superior performance of the final composite after the thermoforming consolidation process. The process is supported by modelling and simulation of the materials (from the micro to the meso and macro scale), the processes (including draping and thermoforming) and the complete manufacturing chain.