Automated tape-laying or winding using fibre-reinforced thermoplastic tapes has advanced significantly over recent years. This photo above demonstrates that it is now possible to wind engineering structures with variable diameters. One of the advantages of using thermoplastics is that such parts can be subsequently post-formed to create more complex shapes such as components with a 90° angle. The use of fibre reinforced thermoplastic tapes provides outstanding mechanical performance, a clean manufacturing process, low waste and a recyclable product.
Coventive has developed a process and pilot line for manufacturing a variety of fibre reinforced thermoplastic tapes for use with automated tape-laying. Our process can be easily adapted to allow for a range of different fibre reinforcements and polymer matrices to be manufactured. Bespoke tapes can be made to fit the specific requirements of an application.
More complex shapes can be reinforced, manufactured and subsequently formed using automated tape laying technology. Advancements in process speed and tape placement will further progress the take-up of the technology.