Automated tape laying for unidirectional semi-finished products made of fiber-reinforced plastics

The multifunctional tape laying systems "PrePro 2D" and "PrePro 3D", which was developed at Fraunhofer IPT, can be used to process thermoplastic tapes and thermoset prepregs as well as spread and bindered dry fiber rovings. Processing these semi-finished products with just a single system reduces the amount of machinery required and increases flexibility in the production of lightweight components. Thanks to its modular design, the system can be quickly and flexibly adapted to different semi-finished products depending on requirements and individually retooled for the respective applications.

Developments of the tape laying head for fiber composites from 1987 to today


A special controllable VCSEL laser is used additionally to the diode laser system. The new head is optimized for local reinforcement.


The PrePro® 2D stand-alone-system produces tailored thermoplastic composite blanks without the need for post consolidation.


The Multi-Material-Head is a compact system for processing of thermoplastic tapes, thermoset prepregs and dry-fiber tows. (JEC Paris Innovation Award winner)


Transparent tapes can be processed with the special winding head with far infrared CO2 laser radiation. The head allows local reinforcement of different materials. (JEC Paris Innovation Award winner)


The multi-tow processing head allows to process up to six thermoplastic tapes at the same time with in-situ consolidation.


A diode laser with zoom homogenizer optics enables a homogenous energy distribution and a controlled beam shape makes laser assisted tape placement with in-situ consolidation commercially available. (JEC Paris Innovation Award winner)


Continuous tape winding for on-ship production of thermoplastic composite pipes with infrared emitters as heat source.


A diode laser is integrated into the AFP head for economic processing of thermoplastic tows. The smaller and cheaper laser opens up new design possibilities for laser integration.


Development of a laser-assisted AFP head with a laser scanner system and IR-camera.


Development of a laser-assisted tape placement head using a laser optic for beam shaping. Adaption of spot size and focus is possible.


Development of the first thermoplastic AFP head with a YAG laser and CCD camera. Use of a raw laser beam instead of the conventional use of hot gas nozzle.


Kick-off of the special research field “Production technology for parts made of non-metallic fiber composites“ (DFG, SFB 332, 1987-2000).