Shape says it has unlocked the key to high-volume composite part manufacture.
Recent improvements to the way in which thermoplastic carbon fibre parts are press moulded at Shape, has resulted in a significant reduction in the time it takes to mould a carbon fibre part in a closed metallic mould.
Shape Machining's Managing Director, Peter McCool, said: “This recent development allows Shape to go out into the market knowing we can offer high volume composite part manufacture. Our new process is applicable for all industry sectors, but it is particularly suited to applications where more than 500 parts are required.”
Shape has developed a process that can be fully automated.
McCool continued: “Our process has been developed primarily for thermoplastic composites but it is also applicable to thermoset composites. We use hydraulic presses to create fast cycle times and the result is that all our parts have been extremely well consolidated.”
The new process has been developed using ShapeTex thermoplastic preforms but is equally happy to process woven, non-woven and recycled fabrics with thermoplastic matric materials.
Shape believes the process is applicable to the aircraft interior market and any other market where the annual rate of production out strips what the traditional autoclave cured supply chain can deliver.
More information on the process and the manufacturing capabilities of Shape will be released shortly.