Selective high-speed tape placement using cut-on-the-fly for local reinforcement of GMT substrates towards a waste-reducing production of multi-material components
Cost-efficient production technologies for lightweight composite components are the key enabler for a broad range of application. Manufacturing technologies like laser-assisted tape placement offer the opportunity to produce thermoplastic multi-material composite parts with optimum reinforcement, weight and cost profile. By the selective tape placement and in-situ consolidation of continuous unidirectional fibre-reinforced thermoplastic tapes in predetermined locations of existing composite structures, composite parts can be efficiently and economically manufactured. Enhanced by the new manufacturing process route, the weight of components can be significantly reduced by the combination of different reinforcement fibres in one single structure. This allows the achievement of an optimised relation between performance and weight. As a key enabler for drastically reducing the waste as well as the production times during in-situ selective tape placement the findings presented in this paper focus on the system and process technology to make an add-&-cut-on-the-fly process possible. Further findings focus on the increase in the process velocity and the influence of the lay-up pattern when using selective laser-assisted tape placement for the local reinforcement of a high-volume-suited polyamide 6-based glass mat thermoplastic substrate material.