The center will feature over 500 m² of lab space with different machines.
The center will feature over 500 m² of lab space with different machines.

Carbon fiber company SGL Group and Fraunhofer IGCV have founded the joint Fiber Placement Center at SGL’s plant in Meitingen, Germany. System manufacturers Compositence GmbH and BA Composites GmbH have also joined the companies to develop the center.

The center will feature over 500 m² of lab space with different machines, making it possible for engineers to develop production concepts and demonstrate their feasibility by prototyping. In event of a demonstrated cost benefit, SGL Group may also implement an industrial production of fiber-reinforced parts. Both dry and pre-impregnated fibers with or without thermoplastic matrix systems will be processed, SGL says.

Bilateral projects with aerospace companies for secondary and primary structural parts in various aircraft types have already been put in place at the center, along with development projects in collaboration with various automotive parts manufacturers worldwide.

High flexibility

‘Fiber placement enables a high degree of automation in production, while offering high flexibility and extremely efficient material utilization,’ said Andreas Wüllner, head of the composites – fibers and materials business unit at SGL Group. ‘These technologies, which are already established for aerospace applications, will be transferred into other industrial sectors for highly efficient large-scale production. For many of our customers, this is a promising opportunity to exceed existing process capabilities for serial production of components made from fiber-reinforced plastic.’

‘The Fiber Placement Center clearly reflects the mission of the Fraunhofer Society, to provide substantial support in knowledge transfer to the industry by means of applied research and to advance the industrialization of fiber-reinforced plastics,’ added Dr Klaus Drechsler, head of chair of carbon composites at the Technical University of Munich. ‘Fiber placement processes are well suited for future applications due to their high level of automation and material efficiency. These developments benefit significantly from industry-oriented research activities.’

The Fiber Placement Center will officially launch on 6 March 2018.

This story is reprinted from material from SGLwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.