The Nagoya-based team used the LFT-D method, a method for manufacturing fiber-reinforced plastics conceived in the Fraunhofer Institute of Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal. By this method, carbon fibers are continuously fed and kneaded with thermoplastic resin pellets. If heating and pressure molding of composite parts are carried out in an autoclave, intermediate steps become unnecessary, making it possible to build an integrated automated production system from the supply of thermoplastic resin and carbon fiber to the final product, realizing short time molding (1 min). Since CFRP is weldable, an ultrasonic welding system utilizing robots could be established, realizing high-speed joining of complex real structures.
NEDO news release, October 16, 2017