Injection Moulding with Continuous Local Reinforcements
In the IMCoLoR project the scroll of an air cycle machine is manufactured with an injection moulding process with the local integration of continuous carbon fibre reinforcements. The local reinforcements are placed along the main load paths in order to lead to a higher pressure and temperature resistance of the scroll than for a short carbon fibre reinforced scroll as manufactured in CleanSky I. Consequently, with this method also new generation aluminium scrolls can be replaced by a thermoplastic scroll reducing weight and cost and preventing the need of hazardous surface treatments.
For the local reinforcement of the injection moulded scroll a two-step process will be developed. In a first step, a 3D reinforcement structure from aligned pre-impregnated continuous carbon fibres (Tape) will be manufactured with the AFPT process. A removable core system will be implemented as a tool for the lay-up process. This allows the load adapted design of the reinforcements. In a second step, the reinforcement structure will be fixed inside an injection mould and will be over injected by injection moulding. The aim of the tool design is to enable a complete enclosure of the reinforcement structure. Therefore, the fixation system is embedded into the injection mould and consists of movable fixation elements that can fix and release the reinforcement structure. When the fixations are released they move backwards and are completely embedded in the mold. This enables the complete enclosure of the reinforcement inside the part without yhe build up of gaps. The exact position of the reinforcement can be adjusted with the fixations.
Non-destructive and destructive test methods will be implemented in order to evaluate the processing quality and the mechanical performance of the part.
A demonstrator will be manufactured with the developed technology and a final evaluation of the process in terms of an industrialization of the process will be done.