Having the ability to position fibres to a high degree of accuracy and with very few geometrical constraints, results in composite parts that are optimised for strength, stiffness and manufacturing efficiency. This is not possible when processing starts with rolls of fabric either dry or pre-impregnated with a matrix material. Combining these principles with multiple materials in a single preform and thermoplastic matrix opens new opportunities for part design within the automotive industry and beyond.
SHAPE have design and analytics knowledge that ensures ShapeTex™ preforms are fully optimised for maximum structural performance, minimum in-process material waste and maximum manufacturing efficiency. The primary production route for ShapeTex™ preforms is consolidation under pressure in a heated tool. Preforms can also be manufactured from dry carbon/glass fibre yarns for use in Resin Infusion or RTM processes. Consolidation processes for which ShapeTex™ is suitable are:
RTM – HPRTM – Resin infusion – Wet lamination – Hot pressing – Compression moulding
The benefit of combining commingled thermoplastic fibres and ShapeTex™ into a single, highly optimised, carbon preform offers the following significant advantages over current state of the art in composite manufacturing:
- Increased optimisation of fibre placement
- Decreased processing time (from raw fibre to finished part)
- Higher production volume capability
- Simplified material handling and storage
- Reduced material costs
- Reduced processing costs
- Greater material efficiency
- Fully automated component production process
“ShapeTex™ technology enables unparalleled part optimisation with complex local reinforcements.”
To make ShapeTex™ the primary manufacturing route for carbon fibre preforms across all industry sectors. This will be achieved by meeting and exceeding our customer’s performance, cost and waste targets.
Our vision is that ShapeTex™ will become the leading process for making high volume carbon composite parts across all industry sectors.