REFORMAT – DEVELOPMENT OF THERMOPLASTIC MATERIALS REINFORCED USING ADVANCED PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES
Composite materials are the materials of choice when a high strength-to-weight ratio is required. However, selecting the ideal combination between matrix and reinforcement is complicated, since there is a bewildering variety of formats to choose from between the reinforcement fibre (short, long and continuous fibre) and the matrices used (thermoplastic or thermosetting).
A comparison between the attributes of composite materials leads to the conclusion that the two most important factors are performance and design flexibility. These characteristics can help determine which material is most suitable for a particular application. In the case of thermoset composites, continuous fibres with high molecular weight resins are usually used, to produce materials that can work at high temperatures while maintaining their mechanical properties, but at the expense of design flexibility. However, reinforced thermoplastic materials present great design flexibility since it is possible to create injection, compression or pultrusion molded parts that would be impossible to manufacture with conventional materials. These materials are suitable for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios as well as complete part geometries. The use of thermoplastic dies also opens up a wide range of possibilities in the reuse and recycling of obsolete or surplus production parts and materials, as well as simplifying manufacturing processes and storage conditions.
During the project, different manufacturing processes will be optimised, but the common denominator will be the introduction of reinforcement fibres in thermoplastic matrices. The format of the reinforcement fibres will change depending on the manufacturing process for which they are being designed, varying from continuous fibres for pultrusion processes, thermoplastic prepregs, impregnated unidirectional tape and 3D lamellar structures, to cut fibre of different lengths focused on 3D printing processes, reinforced materials for injection and recycled carbon fibre spinning. The sizing of the reinforcement fibres will also be optimised for better fibre-matrix compatibility.
During the REFORMAT project, different carbon fibre applications will be created, among which the following are important:
- Use of recycled carbon fibre in 3D printing filaments.
- Carbon fibre-reinforced material for injection from advanced production processes that allow the desired length of the reinforcement fibres to be controlled.
- Development of a thermoplastic matrix pultrusion process from different raw materials with the incorporation of recycled carbon fibre.
This project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE.
GRANT NUMBER: IMAMCI/2020/1
MORE INFORMATION IN THE NON-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES PLAN
- Year: 2020
- Status: Finished
- Entity: IVACE
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