As anticipated in the June
newsletter, Globe’s Advanced Composites Equipment team received an order for a
complete production cell to manufacture a continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic
(CFRT) composite product. This European
application is indicative of the growth of aerospace, automotive and industrial
utilization of CFRT tape and tow products.
Globe has focused on developing and demonstrating novel and improved
process technologies, consisting of formatting and conversion equipment, to
better enable use of CFRT tape and tow by our composite structures manufacturing
customers. The mass-reduction
opportunities and mechanical properties offered by CFRT tape and tow are hard
to beat, but conversion of these materials to finished parts comes with
challenges. By re-orienting the
continuous fiber in 90, 45, -45 and other orientations, re-spooling as a single
ply thickness on rolls to complement the incumbent zero-degree direction tape
from suppliers, downstream layup and consolidation become simpler and allow for
basic automation to replace manual cutting and re-orientation.
The CompositesWorld Overmolding
Conference in Novi, MI earlier this month provided further reinforcement that
thermoplastic composites in general and CFRT materials specifically are a
targeted growth area for volume manufacturing.
Presentations by TPRC, Fraunhofer, Van Wees, SGL Composites, Sabic and
others included content demonstrating the utilization of CFRT in various forms
to improve properties and reduce mass of overmolded components. Examples of real applications, targeted
research and funded development showed strong dedication to maturing these
materials and processes. CFRT formatting
and conversion process equipment will continue to be an important area of
growth for Globe Machine Manufacturing.
Jim Martin (518) 369-5701 JimM@globemachine.com