Many visitors, valuable suggestions
„I am very satisfied with the response to our exhibition in Paris. Not only the number but also the internationality of the visitors was good“, concluded Jochen Schmidt, President of KARL MAYER Technische Textilien GmbH. Of course, the guests came from Europe but many of them also from China as well as from the USA, India and Turkey. The discussions confirmed already known trends, but they also provided new ideas.
Affordable lightweight components with adequate performance
Numerous conversations during the exhibition were about lightweight solutions with automated production, high reproducibility and well-balanced price-performance ratio. Carbon fibers are still too expensive, and they are only used if the performance requirements do not allow any other option. This was clearly demonstrated by the specific demands for aerospace applications. But even here cost optimization is needed, focusing on the targeted use of dry carbon fiber layer structures as alternative to the cost-intensive prepregs.
Cheaper than carbon fibers and improved in terms of properties, glass is becoming increasingly interesting for many applications, explained Jochen Schmidt. For the glass processing, KARL MAYER Technische Textilien GmbH can offer its COP MAX 4. On this multi-axial warp knitting machine it is possible to produce dry glass layers which, according to Jochen Schmidt, are especially in demand by the wind energy market, but increasingly also by the automotive industry.
Another approach to a cost-optimizd manufacture of composites was presented by KARL MAYER with the „VARIO LAYING“ procedure. This innovative method ensures a mechanical and load path-oriented positioning of the carbon fibers just during the production of dry glass layers.
Alexander Wegner from KARL MAYER’s exhibition team and Senior Manager Application Technology, explained that the use of glass is also becoming increasingly interesting for another trend area of the composite industry: namely for thermoplastic applications. He went on to say that in the overall production process, thermoplastic composites made from glass layers are cheaper than duroplastic composites, but for their manufacture they require a special know-how, in particular during spreading. Nevertheless, with its fiber spreading unit UD 700, KARL MAYER is well positioned for the future. „The market is increasingly demanding for glass layers with low surface weights. For this purpose, the glass fibers must be spread as homogeneously as possible. And precisely this brings our technology into play“, concluded Alexander Wegner.
For this applications engineer and his colleagues, the information and ideas gathered during the tradeshow in Paris are a valuable source of inspiration for further innovations with benefits for the customers.