New processes for the continuous forming of layups made of new dry-fibre-based composite materials with a view to the creation of complex preforms

    Start date:2015

    End date: 2017
    Funding: This project was developed with the support of ACCIÓ as part of the Programa Operatiu FEDER Catalunya 2014-2020.

    Objectives: The Dryforming R & D project has developed a new forming process for composite materials based on A+ Glide Forming technology. This process is intended for use with new dry-fibre composite materials with thermoplastic coatings and will generate preforms for the manufacture of complex stringers with joggles and double curvature by way of infusion.
    Results: Through this project, we have achieved several remarkable technological milestones within the field of A+ Glide Forming technology:
    • Evolution of the process’s heating elements so as to permit, where required, forming temperatures inside the material of up to 400ºC
    • Development of new techniques for securing and positioning the stack, thereby enabling the generation of centred parts in a single pass
    • Evolution of the forming cart to allow pressure to be applied evenly across the part regardless of its geometry
    • Implementation of new systems to monitor, control and register the process parameters, which have enabled a deepening of our technical knowledge base
    The project resulted in a demonstrator bench showcasing the full range of technologies developed. As such, this project has given us in-depth knowledge of the new dry-fibre composite materials with thermoplastic coatings, which represent one of the most promising innovations in out-of-autoclave manufacturing processes for structural aircraft elements. These advances in A+ Glide Forming technology have generated new business opportunities within the aerospace sector.