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.


The originality of the 3D-LightTrans concept relies on the use of hybrid yarn integrating thermoplastic material and structural fibres and woven to create 3D fabrics, which can be then directly consolidated in a fast and efficient thermoforming process; this avoids the additional time and cost intensive process steps associated with alternative technologies. The procedure is supported and enhanced by special 3D weaving, draping and fixation processes. The result is not only a huge increase in product quality and reproducibility, but also a radical time and cost reduction. The main process steps are described below:





1. Hybrid yarn manufacturing. Hybrid yarn, composed of reinforcement material and thermoplastic matrix, is produced using a flexible and reliable manufacturing process. The hybrid yarn can be realised with customised properties and different compositions.


2. Weaving. The hybrid yarn is woven to create multifunctional textile preforms, such as double shell or spacer fabrics, and multilayer fabrics, with fibre architecture suited to the desired deep draped form of the final part. A preliminary local, in-line pre-fixing takes place at this stage, in order to ease the later draping process.


3. Draping and fixation. The draping of the locally pre-fixed textile into the desired final 3D-form is performed in a fully automated way (avoiding the lower efficiency and reproducibility of customary manual draping). A novel fixation process can be used to simplify the storage and transportation of the 3D fixed form prior to the consolidation phase.


4. Storage and transport of fixed pre-forms. In the case of thermoforming taking place at a different place or in a later time (draping and fixation performed in an intermediate, dummy tool), the pre-forms can be safely stored and transported in its fixed final geometry at room temperature.


5. Thermoforming. The final composite part is consolidated by a fast and efficient thermoforming process. Neither infiltration nor injection of the matrix material are required, as the thermoplastic matrix is already incorporated in the yarn. The process is very stable and extremely efficient, since a long lasting curing time –as is customary when using thermoset matrix- is not required anymore, and the pre-form can be fixed in advance onto an intermediate dummy tool, reducing the occupation time of the forming tool.

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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