The Process: Tape Laying Machine
The tapes are unidirectional, continuous thermoplastic filaments that are partially pre-impregnated with adhesive resin. Like a tape, they are rolled onto a reel, and this is how they are integrated into the manufacturing system. The system’s feed unit draws the tape from the roll and a robot places it on the work platform or the semi-finished component in the required position. There, it is heated with a laser, which melts the adhesive and increases its grip. Step by step, this enables precisely contoured continuous filament structures to be created with a high level of rigidity through automated fiber placement.
The process advantages of the diode laser
The fields of application for Laserline beam sources which were tapped into at an early stage include industrial systems for the tape laying and tape winding of fiber-reinforced plastics. Here, the tapes that are laid down or wound are welded by means of high-power diode lasers. These processes are used in the automotive and aircraft industries, among others, as well as in the production of seamless tubes, for example, for offshore applications.
The biggest advantages of Laserline’s diode lasers lie in the homogeneous distribution of intensity in their focus, which can even be optimized with special optics, and their precise temperature regulation, which enables controlled melting to be carried out. Together, they allow the component to be manufactured directly, thus speeding up the process of tape laying significantly.