Tailored Textiles


The main research topics in the field of tailored textiles are innovative processes for the production of composite fiber preforms and advanced methods of combining these processes. Our goal is the net-shape, no-waste manufacturing of preforms with a load-path optimized fiber orientation using cost-effective technologies.

Figure: Fiber patch preforming equipment

Fiber Patch Preforming (FPP)

The FPP process uses cut patches of a spread, bindered fiber tow that are placed onto a tool by a robot. Thus preforms with a complex and load-path optimized fiber orientation can be manufactured automatically with low fiber waste. The FPP machine at the LCC is one of only two in use worldwide.

Currently we are optimizing the fiber spreading process to produce low-cost, high-quality tapes to be fed into the FPP process. We are able to produce three-dimensional preforms with a second robot installed in our machine.

Figure 2: LCC draping test bench

Cost-efficient processes for long-fiber preforms

Carbon fiber “papers” are a new class of semi-finished textiles for composite preform production. They can be manufactured with new or recycled fiber material using a highly efficient process and offer great potential to be utilized by the simple integration of additives during manufacturing. Investigations into tailoring surface properties, conductivity and toughness for various applications are currently underway.

Thermoplastisc Net-shaped Textiles

In cooperation with industrial partners we are developing innovative and highly productive textile machinery to manufacture net-shaped textiles. Unidirectional carbon rovings are placed on a flat surface and fixed with optimized fiber directions. The accurate adjustment to the contour of the part leads to reduced scrap. The specific arrangement of the fibers to tailor the drapability of the textile according to part geometry leads to low wrinkling and low crimp when draping in a mold.