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DigiPEP: Digital product development process (PDP) to design Tailored Fiber Placement (TFP) components
In the context of lightweight construction components, Tailored Textiles (TT) are innovative preforms for the production of fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) components. TT offer a higher potential in decreasing weight and raw material usage than conventional FRP even increasing the component performance. In recent years, TT are becoming an important key to designers seeking to improve sustainability in several industries like mobility, automation, sports and prosthetics. One of the most promising processes to manufacture TT is Tailored Fiber Placement (TFP) which is a variant of technical embroidery. Due to the high degree of freedom on deploying the reinforcing fibers in any direction. Therefore, the fibers can be aligned along the main stresses within the component, thus giving the possibility to decrease weight and raw material consumption by precisely defining the amount of material needed under any circumstances. As a result of the reductions, a decrease of cost and CO2 emissions can be expected in the component manufacturing and use phase.
Despite the fact that TFP is available on the market, the high degree of freedom makes TFP-optimized components a difficult task for industrial applications. Different methods have been developed to handle the complexity in the different steps of the PDP (FEA, load path determination, failure models, path planning, draping, costs), however the parameters of each step are mutually dependent which results in a highly iterative and costly process. Consequently, the global optimum of TFP components with regards to specific requirements of weight, cost and performance cannot be efficiently achieved and the lightweight potential of TFP technology often remains unused, especially for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The main goal of the DigiPEP research project is to establish TFP technology in the German economy - especially among SMEs – by decreasing the amount of iterations and costs along the PDP. As a result, the SMEs are able to increase efficiency in resource consumption in the process of lightweight construction. In order to achieve this goal, the project develops a method using the model-based system engineering approach. The main objective is to interlink the value chain (design, structural mechanics, textile and manufacturing engineering) in the form of a system model, enabling TFP component development and transfer of information between the different actors more efficiently. This digitally networked PDP will help the optimization process for TFP components by controlling the complexity of its high degree of freedom. Therefore, TFP component design can be carried out holistically, in a way that is suitable for production and optimized in terms of cost, weight and performance.
01.05.2022 - 01.05.2024
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