Supporting UK Composites

Cygnet Texkimp Showcases New Phase of Process Innovation Centre for Customer R&D

Fibre converting specialist and custom machinery manufacturer Cygnet Texkimp will use the International Composites Summit (8 - 9 September, London) to showcase the latest phase of upgrades to its Process Innovation Centre, where the company offers secure customer trials of its full-scale filament winding, prepreg, and slitting and spooling technologies.

Based at Cygnet Texkimp’s Cheshire headquarters, the centre provides a complete R&D facility where companies can evaluate materials, optimise process design, and complete the initial validation stage of their process through collaborative development with the company’s team of engineers.

Latest developments at the centre include the installation of a 7-axis robotic filament winding system with driven creel to deliver optimum tension control into the process. The system is served by a 200kg robotic winding head on a 5m track and is capable of winding parts up to 2m in diameter and 4m in length.

The system is able to unwind dry fibre, accommodate a wet-out system, and wind pre-impregnated tow-pregs or slit tapes. The equipment incorporates a fibre-friendly tensioning system which offers high levels of tension control without damaging delicate fibres.

The company has invested in production-scale examples of its thermoset and thermoplastic prepreg technologies, which will allow it to demonstrate its capability in coating various substrates to produce UD, fabric, and narrow tape prepregs.

The centre also features an upgrade to the company’s slitter-spooler technology. The high-tension machine has been designed to process UD prepreg slit tapes measuring an eighth of an inch and up and offers a solution for very high-end filament-wound applications most relevant to the space, aerospace, and defence markets.

“We’re now offering major R&D capability across most of our product range,” says Cygnet Texkimp’s R&D Manager, Andy Whitham.

“Our aim is to welcome more potential customers to the centre, where we can take them through a range of trials to validate their ideas and select the best solutions for their applications before they invest in any capital equipment.

“Most of the equipment in this space is also configurable, which means it can be changed to suit the exact parameters of each application and we can work with customers to develop an entirely bespoke solution.”




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