The principal Braiding Technology Team research topics are the improvement of processing equipment, braiding of closed loop profiles and the material that is being processed. At the institute we have three braiding machines available, of varying sizes, that are equipped with robotic systems for the handling of our components. Thus we are able to cover a wide range of different part sizes and possible geometries.
To fully realize the capabilities of the braiding process for the manufacturing of composite profile structures in large volumes, we are working on embedding the braiding machine into a highly integrated manufacturing cell. The whole process is intensively screened for its basic cause – effect relations. By improving the equipment and accompanying processes, such as part handling or preform cutting, we are developing braiding for a wide range of potential industrial uses.
Closed-loop profiles can be manufactured using a braiding machine with a split machine-bed that can be opened and are the subject of current investigation. As a result, multi-layer fiber preforms can be constructed with minimal end points, leading to superior mechanical performance and reduced waste.
The material, it’s architecture and behavior in the processing equipment influence the preform properties. These must be tailored according to the individual part requirements. In addition to the investigation of dry fiber bundles we are also researching the behavior of fibers that are pre-impregnated with thermoset or thermoplastic resin systems.