Research to Business
Offer: 553

Filament winding for joining

Automatic process developed at KIT for joining lightweight pipelines.

Kinematics and sequence for automated fiber winding as joining process.

In the past years, fiber composite materials have gained importance. Due to their high suitability for lightweight construction, combined with an excellent mechanical performance, these materials are used in aviation as well as in automotive engineering, ship construction, energy technology or sports.

State of the art

A classical manufacturing process is filament winding. During this process, continuous filaments (also called rovings) are impregnated with the matrix material, for instance, an epoxy resin, and then wound onto a positive, rotating mold core in a pre-defined pattern. The advantages of this type of process consist in the high strength of the material, its small weight, and simple processing. The joint of two or more components that may also be made of different materials, however, represents a rather weak point. Rivet joints or screws damage the fiber structure of the components to be joined. Bonded joints are characterized by largely varying strengths and stiffnesses and, hence, are not suited for a reliable connection.

Technology

Scientists of the KIT Institute of Production Science (wbk) have developed the component-generating process of wet filament winding further for joining. The new approach is based on using the components to be joined as a core around which an impregnated roving is wound. In contrast to conventional winding, closed frame structures or large components are always associated with the risk of collision. For this reason, a special robot-controlled kinematic system was developed. It consists of a C-shaped stator fixed to a robot. In this stator, an also C-shaped rotor rotates. The winding unit rotates around the components to be joined and, at the same time, winds the continuous fiber around the joint.

Advantages

The knot connection at the joint of the components has a small weight. It does not damage the components to be joined and reaches a very high strength and stiffness.

Options for companies

A prototype of the kinematic system is being applied by wbk and can be inspected. The KIT looks for partners for the further development and application of this technology.

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Your contact person for this offer

Birgit Schulze, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Innovation Manager Mobility and Information, Innovation and Relations Management (IRM)
Phone: +49 721 608-28460

Email: birgit.schulze@kit.edu

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