Project TheCoS - Thermoplastic Composite Structures

Project Title
Thermoplastic Composite Structures
Identification code
103
Programme
Program přeshraniční spolupráce
Partners
Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg / Labor Laser-Materialbearbeitung, Labor für Faserverbundtechnik
Západočeská univerzita v Plzni / Nové technologie - Výzkumné centrum v západočeském regionu
Project start
9/2016
Project end
8/2019
Project objectives
The target of the project is to develop reliable supply chain production for creation of supporting structures made of fibre composites with thermoplastic matrix, which combine production process of components and welding by laser beam representing a joining technology. It is necessary to ensure reliable production of components and suitable joining technology for use of fibre composites with thermoplastic matrix. To develop process technology of continuous production of components based on fibres winding process, it is first necessary to consider in detail connection of fibres with thermoplastic matrix from the point of view of material studies. Extremely demanding part is connection of impregnated reinforced fibres with already winded up structures, because even small fluctuations of process temperature make connection impossible. Therefore research of winding process will be done using laser heating and integrated process control based on pyrometer measurement of temperature. The welding method is a suitable joining technology from the reason of fusibility of thermoplastics. The aim of the research is transmission laser welding technology combined with temperature control, therefore it is possible to shorten the process time. This technology has been successfully used just for plastics welding without fibre reinforcement or with short reinforcement fibres so far. During preparatory testing, oscillations of weld width have been shown in negative way for welding of components with thermoplastic matrix reinforced by long fibres, which are caused by differences between thermal conductivity dependent on direction and concentration of fibres. This negative influence should be suppressed by suitable control of the process using adapted laser power depending on place. The technology will use infrared cameras and a pyrometer integrated in the track of the laser beam. By using of the researched technology in production, products can be fabricated faster in contrast to fabricated component with duroplastic matrix and therefore it is possible to decrease costs. Because of welding process, an alternative to a process of adhesive bonding, it is not necessary to use of solvents and adhesives. Products can be fabricated in more ecologic way without expensive surface preparation and after finish of their lifespan, they will be processed into granules for die casting. By development of the presented process, a new market segment can be created for small and medium companies occupied with processing of plastic material, thereby increasing their competitiveness. Thanks to technology progress the jobs will be ensured and new job vacancies created.
Total project cost
1 137 926,50 EUR