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14th February 2018, Munich

Scalable Samba systems now ready for prepreg

Munich-based Patch Placement specialist Cevotec has made scalable Samba Series systems ready for processing thermoset prepreg material, bringing along all the benefits of Fibre Patch Placement technology. Automated fibre layup of CFRP components with challenging 3D geometries is now possible in all production environments from high-volume production to flexible batch production or prototyping. The company will be offering first-hand information about the technology at the JEC World 2018, from 6-8 March in Paris.

Like all Samba Series cells, Samba Series Prepreg also feature a variable and contamination free laser cutting, precise camera-controlled fibre placement and the fast and easy tool change system. Specific are a cooled material storage and an energy-efficient photonic heating of patches. For the integral production of highly complex-shaped parts, Samba Series systems operate with up to 12 robot axes and a flexible patch gripper to precisely place defined fibre patches on a 3D mould mounted on a tool manipulation robot.

Samba Pro in action. © Cevotec

“This allows for a discrete orientation of each patch and eliminates scrap, as well as additional forming processes through additive, 3D net-shape preforming. Through the individual orientation of every patch along load paths, mechanical properties like stiffness and strength improve up to 150%, while the additive patch technology saves up to 30% of the precious fibre material,” the company explains.

A good cost-benefit ratio is reached when using the Fibre Patch Placement technology to process material that is “left over” in AFP processes, according to the manufacturer. “As a matter of fact, in automated fibre placement processes all bobbins of tape material are changed if only one runs out of tape during a manufacturing process. Thus, a lot of tape material is fed to a less valuable recycling or needs an expensive special treatment to dispose the uncured prepreg tape material scrap,” the company reports.

“Thanks to Fibre Patch Placement technology, this precious ½ inch-wide thermoset prepreg material can now be used for manufacturing aerospace components, which means extremely low material costs for the parts produced and extremely high material efficiency for AFP processes.”

Taking in account that the integral production of complex shaped 3D parts eliminates costly manual work steps and that hybrid prepreg / glass fibre production is possible, Samba Series Prepreg aims to offer manufacturers a new approach to automate the fibre layup for complex CFRP components.

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