JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 51

process

Semi-automated production
of composite beams
In cooperation with AirConcept GmbH, the Institut fuer Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University
is developing a semi-automated process that
combines textile preforming technologies with
liquid composite moulding (LCM) to manufacture
FRP beams in a reproducible and productive way.
These bespoke medium-series beams can be
used in a huge number of applications.

By
Hans-Christian Frueh, Research assistant,
Christoph Greb, Head of composites division,
Thomas Gries, Head of Institut für Textiltechnik
Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University

F

ibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) are used in a variety of applications due to their high weight-saving potential. The design
criteria and geometry of FRP components differ with every
specific application. However, there are also components which may
be used in a similar form in a variety of fields, such as beams. Beams
are structural elements with a constant cross-section which are
mostly subject to bending loads. They are used in various fields of the
mobility, construction and mechanical engineering sectors. They can
be used as semi-beams with one-sided support or as cantilever beams
with multiple bearings. Typical applications of beams include:

liquid composite moulding (LCM). It allows for the production of
beams with maximum dimensions of 60 x 250 x 10,000 mm, as most
of the above-mentioned applications can be covered with beams of
this size. Accurate alignment of the reinforcing fibres (0° spar cap, ±
45° shear web) is a prerequisite for maximum material utilization.
An innovative, modular manufacturing system is being developed to
allow for both this accuracy and design flexibility.

Great automation potential
Composite parts are currently used in various designs where their
low weight and stiffness provide key benefits compared to conventional materials such as aluminium or steel. The main problem when
using composite parts for mass production is the lack of process
chains enabling economic production while maintaining high
quality.
Preforming technologies offer great potential for the automated production of CFRP parts [1,2]. A method based on these technologies
has been developed to produce CFRP beams.
In recent years, a variety of automated preforming and manufacturing technologies have been developed and are used in current
industrial applications such as the pressure bulkhead of the Airbus
A380. Figure 1 shows the planned economical classification of the
new InnoBeam development in comparison with existing technologies. While maintaining a medium productivity, the investment costs
are kept low.
At the same time, the new development should feature high flexibility, on the same level as hand lay-up techniques. Highly automated

- spars for (sport) airplane wings and wind turbines,
- supports and scaffolding in construction,
- overhead cranes and gantries,
- machine beds.
The Institut fuer Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University is developing, in cooperation with AirConcept GmbH, a process for the
reproducible and productive manufacture of FRP beams. This semiautomated process combines textile preforming technologies with

Fig. 1: Investment costs compared to productivity for different manufacturing
methods

No92 October - November 2014 /

jec composites magazine 51



JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014

Cover
Edito
Point of view: oil & gas
Contents
COMPANY & BUSINESS In Brief
Recycling
Biocomposites
Spin-off
Agenda of Events
APPLICATIONS
Sustainability
Defense
Automotive
MARKET
Biocomposites
Inside the factory
SPECIAL JEC AMERICAS - FALL EDITION
Gain insight into the JEC 2014 I.C.S. Americas Program
JEC Americas Innovation Awards Program
Maintenance - Certified composite repair system for pipelines
Carbon fabrics - Successful first flight test for the VX-1 KittyHawk C-PlyTM aircraft model
Design - Composite aerostructure development in high-performance enterprises
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Reinforcement
Process
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATIONS
NDT
Tooling
Infusion
Index
In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Point of view: oil & gas
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - COMPANY & BUSINESS In Brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Biocomposites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Recycling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Spin-off
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 12
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Agenda of Events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Ad1
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Ad2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Sustainability
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 18
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Defense
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Automotive
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Biocomposites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Inside the factory
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - SPECIAL JEC AMERICAS - FALL EDITION
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Gain insight into the JEC 2014 I.C.S. Americas Program
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - JEC Americas Innovation Awards Program
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 40
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Maintenance - Certified composite repair system for pipelines
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Carbon fabrics - Successful first flight test for the VX-1 KittyHawk C-PlyTM aircraft model
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Design - Composite aerostructure development in high-performance enterprises
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Reinforcement
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Process
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 54
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - NDT
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Tooling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Infusion
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - Index
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #92 - October/November 2014 - 68
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