Integration of excess material into a semi-finished product to form complex composite parts

Charlotte M. Eisenhauer, Klaus Drechsler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


With a view to minimizing production costs of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP), a contoured, variable-axial reinforcing fabric, so-called “CoCo – contoured composites,” has been developed for complex, primary structural components,. Thereby, scrap in the production of lightweight high-performance components out of CFRP is reduced. Furthermore, components can be designed in an anisotropic way, thus lighter and adapted to the fiber properties. Moreover, production speed will be by far higher than that of conventional variable-axial textiles, like tailored fiber placement and fiber patch preforming. Furthermore, these textiles will show higher drapability than conventional production techniques, like tape-laying or standard textiles. The main focus of this paper is the investigation of draping mechanisms of variable-axial, tailored textiles and their feasibility. To reach high drapability of these semi-finished products, a new draping strategy has been developed. Reinforcing rovings are laid in meander way onto a carrier material holding excess material available for draping. For the textile “CoCo” new draping characteristics have been investigated, showing a kind of stretch forming of the carrier material and a straightening of the reinforcing fibers previously laid in meander. Due to this draping mechanism the material has the ability to form over very complex shapes without showing draping defects, like loops, gaps, or waviness. The calculation of the excess material and the draping mechanism are investigated on a complex form and proven by draping trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2420-2431
Number of pages12
JournalTextile Research Journal
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • automotive components
  • carbon fiber
  • composites
  • drapability
  • draping mechanism
  • excess material
  • reverse draping
  • thermoplastic
  • variable-axial reinforcement


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