Toho Tenax Europe has been developing Tenax® Net Shape Preform technology. The concept of preform manufacturing is based on carbon fiber with a special functionality being placed into a preform shape in an automated process. Latest developments enhance new possibilities for thermoset matrix composites with the combination of aligned fibers and random oriented material. The patented process combines continuous and random carbon fibers allowing more flexibility for part designs tailored to optimal stiffness & stress requirements. While the aligned fibers can take up high stresses, random fibers can achieve curved shapes as well as complex three-dimensional geometries which also allows high productivity. Finally this development allows an optimisation of weight and cost of for thermoset matrix composites components.
A preform of a generic automotive A-pillar with the combination of aligned and random carbon fiber is shown for the first time at the JEC 2012 in Paris.
Tenax® Net Shape Preforms are storable at room temperature and have the shape and contour of the final part. They are injected with thermoset resin to complete the final composite component. Complex composite parts can achieve high mechanical properties in excellent quality. Manufacturing of composite components at reduced costs is reached in a lean process chain. This newly developed technology avoids high carbon fiber waste which is inherent with existing carbon fibre manufacturing technologies.
The trend towards energy efficiency in transportation demands carbon fiber parts in medium to high volumes. Toho Tenax targets the realization of innovative technologies for lower cycle times.