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30th October 2018, Munich

Success in recycling tapes with FPP

Cevotec is manufacturing a special pressure cap for Premium Aerotec. © Cevotec Cevotec has produced a special pressure cap for Premium Aerotec, based in Augsburg, Germany.

This part has a complex, double-curved shape and a circumferential flange for rivets and it has proved near-impossible to drape regular fabrics to achieve its desired geometry. In the past, Premium Aerotec examined different materials and processes with which to make it, all of which resulted in extremely high costs and a part that was too heavy.

Cevotec has been able to achieve the required shape by successfully adjusting its FPP system to work with half-inch-wide thermoset prepreg tapes, and in addition, is making the parts from the residual scrap from Premium Aerotec’s own waste.

Automated fibre placement (AFP) processes produce a lot of uncured prepreg tape material scrap because all reels of tape are simultaneously changed as soon as the tape left on one reel is not sufficient to place the next layer of the laminate.

With large AFP systems that can process up to 32 reels in parallel, manufacturers like Premium Aerotec suffer from high scrap rates of around 10% and individual reels can have up to 200 metres of material left when they are exchanged. This increases overall costs significantly.

As a consequence Cevotec has reduced the cost of making this part by 70% based on the full price of the AFP material, but considering that the material would have been scrapped and therefore should have a cost of zero, the cost reduction is even greater, at around 88%.

In addition, the parts weigh 70% less than if they were manufactured by alternative processes.

The two companies will receive the Sustainability Innovation Award at the forthcoming JEC Asia in Seoul, South Korea, from November 14-16, for the achievement.

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