3D Light Trans
Our missionThe 3D-LightTrans low-cost manufacturing chain will make textile reinforced composites affordable for mass production of components, fulfilling increasing requirements on performance, light weight and added value of the final product in all market sectors.

3D-LightTrans News – Spring 2013

The project 3D-LightTrans is on track for successful completion of its work plan, as demonstrated by the key results achieved so far. From the yarn production through the weaving to the fixation and thermo-pressing, substantial progress can be seen at each of the manufacturing steps.

The development of the air mingling machine for hybrid yarn production has been successfully finalized. Hybrid air mingled yarns with different glass rovings and PP, PA, PET/PES as matrix material have been produced, and different strategies are being explored to increase the yarn’s abrasion resistance during weaving. With regard to the development of weaving equipment, modified machines are now available at TU-Dresden (rapier looms with heddle frames and jacquard, adapted for weaving hollow structures), and specific developments on loom for full automation are on-going at Michel Van de Wiele. A large number of samples of multi-layered and 3D-shaped fabrics produced with different weave architecture have been analysed, and the results are used to validate the results of modelling and simulation.

3D-LightTrans commingled yarn
Fig.1- Modified Air Texturing Machine RMT-D in TUD (left); hybrid yarn (right)

One of the key advantages of the 3D-LightTrans technology is the intermediate processing to 3D fixed pre-forms, avoiding the later need for manual draping onto the thermoforming tool, and decreasing in this way the tool occupation time. To enable this, robotized draping procedures using suction cups and needles claws, as well as pre-fixation and fixation processes using specially placed modified fibers and different heating techniques, are being explored. For the consolidation of the fixed pre-form into the final composite part, the thermoforming process methodology needs to be carefully adapted. Current results include the design of thermo-press tools, first definition of process settings and preliminary analysis of the influence of relevant factors such as the micro-porosity. All the process steps, from weaving to draping and pressing, are adequately modeled and simulated, and the information obtained is correlated and validated by experimental results (e.g. from optical analysis, tensile and bending tests).

3D-LightTrans multilayer and draping
Fig. 2- Meso and macro modelling, simulation and test

The 3D-LightTrans manufacturing chain will be demonstrated for specific end products from the automotive sector, featuring different degrees of complexity. The current results include the final design of the chosen components by end-users CRF and Bentley and the specification of requirements, leading to the selection of a specific target glass/PET hybrid yarn composition. In order to ensure and facilitate the real future industrial deployment of the 3D-LightTrans technology, the partners are also exploring the scale-up for mass production and aspects of product life cycle, as well as relevant supply chain concepts and business models.

Two of the 3D-LightTrans demosntrators
Fig. 3- CRF’s tailgate and Bentley’s spare wheel well

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 263223.
For more information visit our website www.3d-lighttrans.com or contact us.
Project Coordinator: Dr. Marianne Hörlesberger (AIT);
Exploitation & Dissemination Manager: Dr. Ana Almansa (Xedera);


Project Coordinator

Dr. Marianne Hoerlesberger, AIT

Exploitation & Dissemination Manager

Dr. Ana Almansa Martin, Xedera

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A project co-founded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program within the NMP thematic area
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