Karl Mayer Technische Textilien GmbH looks back on a successful JEC World 2018. The textile machinery manufacturer joined the leading trade fair of the composite sector in Paris with a well-attended information stand on the topic of multi-axial warp knitting machines and fiber spreading units.
“I am very satisfied with the response to our exhibition in Paris. Not only the number but also the internationality of the visitors was good,” concluded Jochen Schmidt, President of Karl Mayer Technische Textilien GmbH. Of course, visitors came from Europe, but many of them were also from China as well as from the U.S., India and Turkey. Discussions confirmed already known trends, and also provided new ideas.
Numerous discussions during the exhibition were about lightweight solutions with automated production, high reproducibility and well-balanced price-performance ratio. Carbon fibers are still too expensive, and they are only used if the performance requirements do not allow any other option. This was clearly demonstrated by the specific demands for aerospace applications. But even here cost optimization is needed, focusing on the targeted use of dry carbon fiber layer structures as alternative to the cost-intensive prepregs.
Cheaper than carbon fibers and improved in terms of properties, glass is becoming increasingly interesting for many applications, explained Schmidt. For the glass processing, Karl Mayer Technische Textilien offers the Cop Max 4 multi-axial warp knitting machine, on which it is possible to produce dry glass layers that are especially in demand in the wind energy market, and increasingly also in the automotive industry.
Another approach to a cost-optimized manufacture of composites was presented by Karl Mayer with the Vario Laying procedure. This innovative method ensures a mechanical and load path-oriented positioning of the carbon fibers just during the production of dry glass layers.
Alexander Wegner from Karl Mayer’s exhibition team and Senior Manager Application Technology, explained that the use of glass is also becoming increasingly interesting for another trend area of the composite industry; namely for thermoplastic applications. He went on to say that in the overall production process, thermoplastic composites made from glass layers are cheaper than duroplastic composites, but for their manufacture they require a special know-how, in particular during spreading. Nevertheless, with its fiber spreading unit UD 700, Karl Mayer is well positioned for the future. “The market is increasingly demanding for glass layers with low surface weights. For this purpose, the glass fibers must be spread as homogeneously as possible. And precisely this brings our technology into play,” concluded Wegner.
For this applications engineer and his colleagues, the information and ideas gathered during the tradeshow in Paris are a valuable source of inspiration for further innovations with benefits for the customers.