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AFP – New Developments

Regardless of sector, the drive for cost-efficiency in manufacturing is relentless. Manufacturers are constantly seeking new materials and developing ever more effective methods of assembly.

As a result, we see increasing Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) of composites in sectors that require a combination of structural performance and light weight.

A further factor in the growth of AFP is the high level of productivity and quality that automation can achieve.

Bindatex is a partner in AFP projects for the following sectors:

  • Commercial aerospace
  • Military aerospace
  • Defence systems
  • Satellites
  • High-volume automotive

Whilst high-tech applications were undoubtedly the starting point for composite use, the efficiency benefits of AFP technology now open the route to higher volume manufacturing.

Practical Production Demands

High volume production makes further demands of AFP manufacturers. Production assets must operate continuously to maximise output and return on investment.

To exploit these opportunities, in addition to normal logistics and product quality, manufacturers are also looking for:-

  • Minimal set-up time
  • Maximum package size
  • Clean-cut technology
  • Lay-ready splices
  • High tolerance slit width
  • Rapid product change cycle
  • In-line measurement and real-time quality assurance

New Techniques

It is relatively straightforward to machine traditional metals and alloys. However, the textile components of composites are significantly more challenging to work with.

Bindatex has a broad expertise in handling textiles and composites. As a result, we lead the way in developing production and processing techniques which deliver the tight specification materials that are required.

Recent developments by the company include:

  • High-tolerance, narrow width materials down to 6.35mm. Increasingly Bindatex is also working down to 3.175mm widths 
  • Increasing use of thermoplastic UD materials alongside established thermoset resins
  • Effective FOD (Foreign Object Debris) detection
  • Longer packages with lay-ready splices

Especially relevant, each of these developments contributes to longer and more efficient production runs.

At Bindatex we are extremely proud of our expertise at the cutting edge of composites.

If you are interested in looking at how AFP might benefit your own production, we would be happy to talk

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