Dieffenbacher Acquires Fiberforge Tape Layup Technology
By acquiring the Relay machinery, expertise and intellectual property rights of Fiberforge, Dieffenbacher is investing in the automated tape placement technology, and thus adding a key technology to its product portfolio in the growing market for thermoplastic structural components for lightweight design.
The tape layup technology facilitates the manufacture of components made from continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics based on uni-directional fiber tapes (UD fiber tapes). Such components are of major interest to both the aviation industry and in the field of lightweight automotive design. Fiber tapes are available in a wide range of material combinations with different resin system and fiber materials like glass fibers or carbon fibers. The UD fiber loading has typically extremely high fiber weight contents of between 60 and 70%.
In addition to applications using fiber tape structures alone, Dieffenbacher is planning to integrate the tape layup technology into the LFT-D system to create the Tailored LFT-D technology. By combining these materials, components with local UD fiber-tape reinforcement for specific applications can be manufactured. These components can subsequently be integrated into large-scale production to achieve high levels of structural rigidity at a low cost.
This process provides a high degree of flexibility when it comes to the structural design of the components. As a result, various material variants can be manufactured economically on a single system. By combining the tape layup process and the direct method for producing long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, Dieffenbacher is relying on its holistic system approach and offering innovative expertise from a single source.