Fiberforge announces a strategic collaboration with Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Germany
Jun 30 2010
Fiberforge announces a strategic collaboration with Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Pfinztal Germany GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO — 29 June 2010. Fiberforge announces today that Fraunhofer ICT and Fiberforge have started a strategic collaboration on R&D projects for various industries such as, automotive and aerospace. As part of this collaboration, Fraunhofer ICT will be installing a RELAY® Station 2000 at its state-of-the-art thermoplastics research center. This will be the first RELAY Station installation in Europe offering clients the ability to develop and demonstrate the production of thermoplastic advanced composite structures upward of 2 m x 2 m (80 in. x 80 in.) in size on a full-scale production work cell.
The RELAY (Rapid, Efficient, Layup) Station creates tailored multi-ply preforms from unidirectional thermoplastic prepreg tape that can then be formed into a final part. Unidirectional tape combines a reinforcing fiber, such as glass and carbon fiber, with any of a variety of thermoplastic resin types, such as Polypropylene, Polyamide, or PEEK. Tailored blanks™ can be made with locally varying thickness and fiber orientation to maximize structural performance. The fully automated RELAY Station reduces the labor intensity of advanced composite part manufacturing, thus expanding the commercial reach of these materials into higher volume markets and products. Tailored blanks can also be used as structural inserts in injection and compression molded parts for cost and shape-stiffness optimized solutions.
“With its long history of innovation in thermoplastic composite processing, complementary partnerships with other firms, extensive capital equipment, and staff of industry-leading composite experts, Fraunhofer ICT was a natural choice for establishing a development and demonstration centre in Europe,” says David Cramer, Fiberforge’s Chief Technology Officer. “Through this new partnership with Fraunhofer ICT, we will be able to work more easily with customers to apply the technology in new products and in combination with other thermoplastic processing technologies.”
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Henning, Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer ICT explains the benefit on the European side: „Fiberforge’s innovative tape layup process opens up new possibilities for producing thermoplastic advanced composite parts in a fast and automated process. Combined with our expertise in other thermoplastic processing technologies, Fiberforge’s RELAY Station will expand our portfolio in the research and development of process technologies for fiber-reinforced plastics.”
Fraunhofer ICT Information
Fraunhofer ICT scientists carry out research and development work in the business areas of defense and security, air and space travel, automotive and transport technology, chemistry and process engineering, energy and environment. Fraunhofer ICT is one of the 59 institutes that currently make up the Fraunhofer Society.
Beside contract research for industry, the Fraunhofer ICT also works closely with commercial companies, often through research projects co-financed by the German government or the European Union.
Fiberforge is a technology company that is commercializing breakthrough manufacturing systems that enable the affordable production of lightweight advanced composite parts at high volumes. Fiberforge’s proprietary RELAY® Station—protected with multiple patents and trade secrets—produces parts with high fiber alignment, high fiber fraction, and long fiber length at high speed with minimal scrap. Fiberforge’s technology and its tailored blanks are protected by US patents (6,607,626, 6,939,423 and 7,235,149), US patents pending and International patents granted and pending.
Any projections and forward-looking statements in this release are based on best practice analysis and research from independent advisors to Fiberforge. The conclusions drawn, while the result of the best efforts of the staff of Fiberforge, are in no way a promise of delivery, and they can, and will, be changed according to future input.
For further information, please contact Simon Jespersen (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Fiberforge GmbH and Benjamin Hangs (Benjamin.Hangs@ict.fraunhofer.de) at Fraunhofer ICT.