Kick-off for Project TailCo: Tailored Textiles

Inserting of integrated multiaxial threads (yellow) into the basic fabric (black) Copyright: ITA

SLA, ITA, MSE and industrial partners are researching Tailored Textiles

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are increasingly being used in the mobility industry to reduce weight. The preforming of textile semi-finished components, for instance made of carbon or glass fibers, is a costly step within the manufacturing process; the latter comprises cutting and shaping a reinforcement structure’s near-final contour which is then inserted into the tool. The use of textiles with already integrated reinforcements, so-called Tailored Textiles (TT), carries a high potential for cost reduction. Designing FRP components for production while considering built-in textile technology processes for manufacturing these textiles, is currently rather complex. Due to the lack of a comprehensive design methodology, a quantitative comparison with quasiisotropic or force transmission path reinforced preforms is not possible. This is where the interdisciplinary research project between the Institute for Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Construction (SLA), the Institut fr Textiltechnik (ITA) and the Institute for Machine Elements and Systems Engineering (MSE) sets in: together with industrial partners, scientists explore the underlying conditions for the components’ design and manufacturing and how these can be utilized to create an applicable design methodology. “Since we want to model and research the complete process chain in TailCo, the interdisciplinary approach is pivotal: starting at the conception and creating a detailed design which will result in final production. This way, we aim to define fitting elements for the product development process while ensuring components will be eventually realized”, Sebastian Stein, project manager and coordinator Design (MSE), points out the benefits this joint approach offers.

Workshop participants in discussion Copyright: MSE Interdisciplinary kick-off

If the application proves successful, the next step will be to identify parameters that will allow for decisions on production technology to be made at an early stage and to render them applicable to various industries which are based on lightweight construction: "One of the main challenges posed by lightweight construction is to realize the great potential of cost and weight savings through innovations - for instance in the automotive and aerospace industries. With TailCo we want to create a tool with which industrial users can exploit and realize this potential," Pawel Lyssakow, coordinator Design and Engineering (SLA), explains the team’s motivation.

Project group in front of wall Copyright: MSE Scientists looking forward to explore Tailored Textiles

"So far, we have been able to manufacture semi-finished components with local reinforcements in a rudimentary manner while merely assuming their potential; at this stage we lack the tools necessary to transform them into real components. This is exactly where we would like to take up the research in TailCo. For the transfer it is important to conduct research at all levels of product development - which is also our unique characteristic: only through close cooperation between design, layout and production it will be possible to determine the steps necessary for successfully applying the technology to production processes. As we cooperate very closely with machine, textile as well as component manufacturers we will gain a thorough insight into their requirements for the realization of components made of Tailored Textiles," Marius Wiche (ITA), coordinator Production, elaborates on the project’s goal of applying results to industrial processes.

Find more information at the TailCo project site.