New multi axial machine commissioned

Paul Boughton

As part of a €2.5m investment programme, Formax, the manufacturer of carbon fibre and speciality composite reinforcements, has successfully installed and commissioned its new Karl Mayer Malitronic multiaxial machine.

The new cut and lay machine, with a variable width from 1270mm – 1600mm, is housed within the new 5,000m² automotive facility at Formax’s UK headquarters and will be dedicated to the production of tailored non-crimp fabrics (NCFs) specifically optimised for high-volume automotive programmes.

Whether it is Class A body panels, BIW structure or impact-resistant long fibre reinforced parts that are required, the new 35m multiaxial machine will allow automotive OEMs and Tier 1s to design a bespoke fabric or preform to fit both the structure being built and the manufacturing process; thereby ensuring a fast, cost-effective and efficient conversion of carbon fibre into parts.

The machine is equipped with three axes, capable of laying ply angles from 20° through to 90° with both in-line and off-line spreading technology, allowing engineers to specify larger, lower cost, carbon fibre tows, with ply weights starting from just 50gsm.

An additional feature of the machine is that it is equipped with electronic pattern cams. This facilitates the creation of fabric specific stitch patterns, which combined with Formax’s extensive research into simulating drape, gives the company the ability to tailor fabric for specific parts.

The new machine is in full operation, whilst the facility will officially open in May.

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