THERMOPLASTIC BRAIDING

Sigma has developed the innovative process of thermoplastic composite braiding. It is an advanced composite technology that allows for the manufacture of structural composite products in high volume and in a wide variety of product groups and end markets. It combines a thermoplastic with a composite material such as carbon, glass, aramids or hybrids of these materials. Because all the fibres within a braided structure are continuous and mechanically locked, braid has a natural mechanism that evenly distributes load throughout the structure. This means that braid is the stronger, tougher, more flexible alternative to woven composites.

WHY THERMOPLASTIC BRAIDING?

  • Lightweight metal replacement technology with high performance capability

  • High automation and efficiency resulting in low labour costs and highly repeatable processes

  • Low or high volume capability – capacity to braid up to 50mm per second; the equivalent to 1 mile per day.

  • Processing takes minutes rather than hours; our advances in technology and processes take composites into the 100,000 parts per year volume capability.

  • The parts can be shaped after lay-up which significantly reduces the need for expensive bespoke tooling.

  • Structures can be ‘tuned’ to individual needs – utilising triaxial braiding methods where required.

  • We can braid, design, engineer and incorporate metallic fittings into the product (as required)

  • You can weld, bolt and join in ways that are not possible with a thermoset composite

  • Crash performance – progressive failure mode

  • Significant reduction in waste – you only braid what you require

  • Inherently recyclable – very good for end life issues

TYPICAL PRODUCTS

  • Pressurised pipe systems including end fittings – high pressure and temperature capability

  • Torque shafts including end fittings – including ‘SMART’ sensor embedded technology

  • Structural tubes, beams, structural members – engineered to specific customer requirements

  • Rotor sleeves – for advanced high speed and high energy applications

  • Pressure vessels – very high strength material providing superior burst performance and reduced production time

  • A variety of profiles and shapes are possible, with the braided product being designed to meet the customer’s specific needs

MARKETS

Structural composites for industries including:

  • Aerospace

  • Automotive

  • Rail

  • Motorsport

  • Energy

  • Industrial

  • Civil Engineering