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for continuously-reinforced, thermoplastic composite production technology.

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What is LATW/LATP?

Laser-assisted tape winding (LATW) and laser-assisted tape placement (LATP) are terms which describe the process of welding unidirectional-reinforced, thermoplastic pre-impregnated tapes using laser radiation as a heat source. Laser heating enables very accurate temperature control, thus enabling very high welding quality in one single process step, a so called in-situ consolidation. LATW/LATP is an out-of-autoclave production method for fiber-reinforced composites with input materials that don't need special storage, as well as output products that do not need post processing for consolidation.

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What are the applications for CFR-TP products?

Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFR-TP) are a type of composite material with continuous fiber reinforcement in a thermoplastic matrix. AFPT's automated systems enable very low-cost, high-volume production of tubular, thin-walled CFR-TP components. Seven-digit production volumes per year can be achieved, including in-process quality control, part separation and more. Application examples include thin-walled sleeves, plain bearings, bushings and fittings. Crash profiles, thick-walled dynamic seals and pressure vessels are also applications where thermoplastics have an advantage over metals and can be effectively manufactured from very small to very large diameters.

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How can CFR-TP products be manufactured?

AFPT's core technology is end effector tools for robots, CNC or gantry systems that use laser radiation as a heat source to fully consolidate unidirectional thermoplastic tapes in-situ through a winding or laying process. The tools can process almost all commercially available, black industrial tapes, from glass-fiber-reinforced HDPE to carbon-fiber-reinforced PEEK. Production runs on a closed-loop system and logs all key process data for full traceability and quality assessment of production data. In-situ consolidation enables the cost-effective production of composite parts in high volumes.

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What services can help in the development of CFR-TP products?

At the AFPT technical center in Dörth (near Koblenz), we work with our customers to develop components made of thermoplastic composites. The spectrum ranges from simple rings as inserts for injection molding, to tubes and pressure vessels, to complex 3D-curved components. With our R&D machines we have enough capacity and possibilities to convince you of the applicability of our technology. We support you in the production of the first prototypes and small series, develop the ideal production strategy with you and prove the performance of the machines.

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Tube 2022

Representatives from AFPT and Alformet will be exhibiting at the Tube in Düsseldorf this year. Reach out to schedule a meeting!

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