Construction of a flagship fibre processing equipment that will take carbon fibre weaving to a new dimension is gathering pace at the University of Sheffield AMRC Composite Centre.
The impressive 3D weaving loom and Jacquard is the centerpiece of a collection of state-of-the-art equipment purchased by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) following a successful funding bid made to the Aerospace Technology Institute.
It is being constructed in the heart of the Composite Centre, taking about two weeks to build, and every stage of the complex assembly is being captured using a time-lapse video camera.
The 3D loom accompanies other new equipment at the centre – a braiding system, tailored fibre placement, a high temperature-high tension filament winder, stitching robot, tow-spreading machine and robotic end effectors for automated handling – which will be used to manufacture preforms and develop the enabling technology for commercialisation including joining, automation and impregnation.
Dry Fibre Development Manager at the AMRC Composite Centre, Chris McHugh, said the 3D weaving loom and Jacquard opens up a new range of opportunities for producing very complex carbon fibre preforms.
“It will take carbon fibre weaving to a new dimension,” said Chris, who recently joined the AMRC Composite Centre with decades of textile experience under his belt having previously worked for James Dewhurst, NWTexnet and Sigmatex.
“This equipment will play a key part in the next generation of Lightweighting material for aerospace and automotive taking a multi-material, multi-process approach to preforming.
“A time-lapse camera will capture every stage of the build so that people can really see the work that goes into constructing big equipment like this and see how it takes shape.”