General Atomics developing toolless robotic process for thermoplastic composites

Published:
January 7, 2019
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by Cecilia Gee
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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' new process, though still in development, uses two robots to simultaneously lay down thermoplastic polyaryletherketone (PAEK)/carbon fiber tapes and provide a movable support surface, eliminating the need for any tooling. This method showcases Lux's prediction for composite manufacturing, wherein newer form factors like tapes, automation, and thermoplastic adoption are on the rise. While the intersection of these factors already offers more flexible processing, General Atomics' technology in particular is innovative, as, without the need for tooling, it has the potential to manufacture in more diverse environments, including on-site.

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