The world’s first 3D winder for complex carbon fibre parts has been created in the UK.
The device, developed by machinery manufacturer Cygnet Texkimp and the University of Manchester, has been made to support the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and aeroplanes by making lightweight, complex, curved components.
The robotic winding machine is cost-effective to run and can produce high volumes of the material very quickly.
Trials have shown it to produce parts to a much higher integrity than traditional methods such as braiding and weaving.
A production-scale version of the machine is now being used to carry out advanced trials with international part manufacturers, including one of the world’s leading car wheel manufacturers.
Luke Vardy, Managing Director of Cygnet Texkimp, said: “We’re on the threshold of a new generation of lightweight, fuel-efficient cars and aeroplanes.
“Demand for greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions is driving the need for better ways of producing and using intelligent materials such as carbon fibre composites.”