22/11/2019 – Top 10 – Innovations 2019 — auf Deutsch lesen

Force-controlled preform-draping

Several new technotextile developments hit the headlines during this year of big trade fairs. One of our Top 10 developments is a new technology.


A removable textile joint helps to reduce material waste whilst improving draping quality. © ITA/RWTH


In the context of short cycle times and high volumes, the otherwise economical process of stamp forming of fibre-reinforced plastic preforms frequently leads to draping errors that have a negative impact on quality.

In his doctoral thesis, ITA employee Sven Schöfer has developed an innovative process that involves a force-controlled material feed in the form of a removable tufting seam. He was presented with an award at Composite Europa in Stuttgart and his process met with an excellent response among visitors to the trade fair. Without having to change the machine set-up, the additional seam allows easy handling regardless of geometry. The restraining forces can be precision set, preventing the individual plies from slipping during forming. Near net shape processes also significantly reduce the number of offcuts.