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Novel Fiber Processing: First Spread then Size

Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) have been successfully used as lightweight construction materials for many years. In order to increase the strength, carbon fibres are previously often processed as tape. For this purpose, the carbon fibres are spread, i.e. fanned out, and then laid down parallel to each other. This enables the individual filaments to optimally absorb the forces occurring in the CFRP component.


Tapeleger kopf

Within the framework of the publicly funded project "ZIM SpreizSize", an innovative spreading system is currently being developed at the Institute für Textiltechnik of the RWTH Aachen in cooperation with M & A Dieterle GmbH. Until now, carbon fibers have been spread mainly by means of fixed and specially coated rollers. This process step is carried out after the sizing application. The consequences are a high consumption of sizing material and poor spreadability of the fibers. With the new spreading system, which uses an innovative air spreading unit, the carbon fibers are spread before the sizing application. The sizing material is applied afterwards. This results in increased spreading factors (over 3) and a precise adjustment of the sizing content on the fibers. The carbon fibre tapes are produced at a speed of over 10 m/min.


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