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Bindatex – Experts in AFP Composite Tapes

Technical collaboration has been a key component of Bindatex becoming a trusted aerospace supply chain partner.

For over 10 years, the company has innovated class-leading services and is now the only independent European supplier of precision composite slitting services.

The key to Bindatex success? - Collaboration.

Early on in their growth, Bindatex recognised the importance of collaboration when developing relevant and effective technical services

The journey began in 2012 while founder Chris Lever was visiting an Advanced Manufacturing Exhibition. Observing the growing use of narrow composites in aerospace, he recognised the need for specialist, high-precision services to support and accelerate this growth. At that time low confidence in product consistency constrained AFP layup/deposition rates – i.e. width tolerance and FOD contamination.

Bindatex already had strong knowledge and experience in slitting and rewinding both composite and non-composite materials. Chris believed this expertise could be developed further for application in the expanding narrow composites sector. However, this could only be achieved through collaboration with researchers, material manufacturers, end users and machinery manufacturers

The first stage collaboration involved Bindatex working closely with Innovate UK to explore the potential for growth. The result was a Research Report: Use of narrow-width composite tapes in the European aerospace sector. The report highlighted the significant opportunity for growth as a result of increasing demand across Europe.

At the time, the only independent composite materials processing capability was in the USA.

Developing the Opportunity

Having identified a gap in the market, Bindatex then set about building on their existing slitting and winding expertise to meet the specific requirements of  AFP processors.

Once again, the answer lay in collaboration. Working closely with R&D teams from leading manufacturers, Bindatex developed production equipment capable of high precision slitting and spooling of narrow composite tapes. As a result, they are now established as the preferred partner for narrow composite tape slitting and formatting.

The poorly wound 3rd-party spool on the left precision rewound by Bindatex to deliver the high-specification format spool on the right.

Key factors for efficient AFP operation:

  • Consistent material (impregnation, areal weight)
  • Consistent widths (+/- 0.127mm)
  • High-precision and clean-cut edges (no stringers)
  • No Foreign Object Debris (FOD)
  • Maximum tape length per spool
  • Precision AFP spec traverse wound packages

Bindatex specialist narrow-composites production equipment

Investment in bespoke technology

The R&D collaboration work enabled Bindatex to design specialist equipment built expressly to meet the needs of the market.

The company invested directly in the development, installation and commissioning of bespoke fibre processing machinery designed to ensure they effectively address the needs of cutting-edge composite AFP production. As a result, this allows the company to develop their position as a market leader and approved supplier of composite processing materials for which their facilities include:

Bindatex composite tape processing facilities include:

  • High-precision slitting
  • In-line tape width monitoring
  • Real-time FOD detection
  • Lay-ready splicing for maximum tape length
  • Highly experienced production technicians and support staff

The nature of collaboration has enabled Bindatex to develop their offer to suit demand and become a market leading performer.

Consequently, the company is now proud to be working with some of the most exciting, hi-tech projects around today.

To discuss how Bindatex can help you with your composite slitting and formatting, get in touch

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