narrow towpreg

Prepreg Narrow Tape Slitting Spooling Machine

  • Self-Developed Winding Machine
  • Axis Quantity Supported Customized
  • Min Slitting Width Can Reach 3.175mm (0.125-inches)
  • Latest Technology For CFRTP/ CFRT Composite Material
  • With Automatic Peel Function for Thermosetting Material
ItemPrepreg Narrow Tape Slitting Spooling Machine
Axis Quantity6-16 (Support Customization)
Applicable MaterialThermoplastic UD Tape, Carbon Prepreg Tape
Max Unwinding Width250mm
Max Unwinding Diameter300mm
Diameter of Unwinding Stand Shaft3-Inch (76mm) or 6-Inch(152.4mm)
Unwinding ShaftAir Expanding Shaft
Min Slitting Width3.175mm(0.125-Inches)
Rewinding Speed/Thermoset50m/min
Rewinding Speed/Thermoplastic100m/min
Max Spooling Height300mm (Programmable)
Rewinding shaft3-Inch or 6-Inch Are Available
Splicing functionYes
Packing Dimension (L*W*H)6284*1373*3000MM
fiberglass winding effect 570

Fiberglass UD Tape Spooling

Around the end of 2021, Jota Machinery independently developed this slitting traverse spooling machine.

We first slit and spool the fiberglass UD tape. You can watch a video to see how this machine works.

Carbon Fiber Prepreg Tape Winding

Due to the light weight of the carbon fiber prepreg tape. At present, it has been widely used in the market.
The commonly used industry for prepreg tape is aerospace, so our machine is also aimed at this industry.
The JT-SLT-250S machine is also given the function of peeling off the PE film.

carbon fiber prepreg tape 570
traversem winding machine 16 heads 570

16 Axis Traverse Winding Machine

In 2022, we customized a 16-axis traverse spooling machine for the top customers in the CFRTP industry.

The customer personally operated this set winding machine. Even the speed can reach an amazing winding speed of 95m/min.

Prepreg Narrow Tape Slitting Spooling Machine

When Jota Machinery entered the CFRT working industrial, we designed a prepreg narrow towpre slitting spooling machine.

This slitting spooling machine works with carbon fiber prepreg unidirectional tape and glass fiber prepreg unidirectional tape, with slitting widths of 3.175mm (1/8″), 6.35mm (1/4″), and 12.7mm (1/2″).

The spooled towpre can be utilized for automated fiber placement (AFP), as well as the cladding and manufacturing of space shuttle aircraft.

The materials used in Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) are narrow prepreg tapes with widths ranging from 3.175mm to 6.35mm to 12.7mm.

The narrow width of the strips necessitates a variation of 0.125 mm.

6.35mm towpre
6.35mm carbon towpre

Following the debut of this prepreg narrow towpre slitting spooling machine, a customer from a domestic aerospace research center approached us and requested that we supply this prepreg narrow towpre slitting and winding machine.

This equipment differs from standard spooling machines in that it is devoted to aerospace prepreg, having functions such as PE coating, splicing, and peeling/film (release paper).

spooling details

The release paper (film) is prone to debris during the slitting process, and if it sticks to the prepreg tow, its quality will suffer.

As a result, the release paper must be recycled prior to slitting the prepreg.

The release paper recycling unit recycles the release paper using the active winding process (film).

peel off device

A servo-driven rewinding shaft and an automatic tension control system allow for constant tension and uniform speed in the peeling and rewinding of the release paper.

The maximum unwinding width of this slitting spooling machine is 250 mm, and it has a 3-inch air shaft.

The 6-inch air-expanding shaft can be replaced as well. The waste material is immediately rewound to the waste edge device.

The Aerospace Research Institute provided 1100mm wide prepreg unidirectional tape.

carbon fiber prepreg

To adapt to the narrow tape slitting machine, we will use the JT-SLT-1600D slitting machine while peeling off the release paper at the bottom layer of the prepreg.

If your prepreg is 1100mm broad, it must first be chopped into small rolls before being cut into narrow strips with 250S.

If your carbon fiber prepreg is less than 250mm wide, you can utilize our JT-SLT-250S directly.

Our 250S comes with three sets of slitting specifications for quick and easy replacement of different cutting widths.

As a result, the 3.2 mm and 6.35 mm slitting width are extremely narrow, and Jota Machinery replaced the 250S cutter with a replacement model.

6.35mm slitting blade
6.35mm(¹/₄ inch)

As with the 1600D, there is no need to assemble the spacer and adjust the width. It has a removable tool-cleaning device and a slitting precision of not less than 0.15mm.

The cleaning device is attached to the tool based on how well the resin sticks to it. It is then cleaned with alcohol, which is easy to get rid of after it has been used.

In the section for unwinding, there are two rollers. The one on top moves the prepreg, while the one on the bottom peels off the PE film or release paper.

unwinding section

This equipment has also been tried for CFRT thermoplastic composite materials, and after unwinding, the UD tape can be sent directly through the transfer roller.

After going through the slitting unit, each tow is sent to each axis by the guide wheel.

Our typical model includes six spindle axis.

About March of this year, one of our customers is given an SLT-350S with 16 spindle axis for slitting and winding thermoplastic fiberglass unidirectional tapes.

During winding, aerospace narrow tape prepregs will be glued with PE film for the second time.

The prepreg and PE film will be bonded and wound in parallel on our 250S, which has independent PE film unwinding equipment.

The winding device uses double-slip differential shaft center curling, and the gap-adjustable pressure roller device effectively reduces pressure transition damage to the prepreg coating; the winding cantilever design is more convenient for unloading and operation; the automatic closed-loop tension control, servo control winding tension, equipped with sensors, variable tension winding, automatic program adjustment with diameter change; and constant tensile strength

  1. The inner diameter of the core: 76 mm.
  2. Maximum winding diameter (mm): 300 mm.
  3. Winding width maximum: 300 mm.
  4. Rewinding stations: 16 winding rewinding stations; when in operation, the number of rewinding 2-16 reels can be selected independently.
  5. Winding technique: center winding (spiral, parallel, positive cone, and other modes)
  6. Winding type winding, winding level, reciprocating stroke 0-260mm, guide rail stroke 300mm, adjustable pitch 5-10mm, end linear adjustable; winding type winding platform uses linear guide rail-slider method, additional installation; winding type, winding platform uses linear guide rail-slider method, additional installation, dust cover that increases service life.
  7. The rewinding paper tube has a length of 280 mm and an inner diameter of 3 inches.
  8. Winding tension: The winding tension of the 16 spooling axis may be regulated between 1 and 15 N, and each winding station has a matching switch to control the tension start and stop.

System of electrical control

  • A power cabinet and a main operating cabinet are installed throughout the machine. The power cabinet can be installed according to the customer’s site location, and the operation cabinet can be installed according to the position of the easy-to-operate equipment.
  • The entire machine control system uses PLC programming to monitor the primary characteristics of the whole machine in real-time, such as tension, speed, meter, and roll diameter.
  • The main stations, such as unwinding, winding, and deviation correction, work in start, stop, manual, automatic, and other modes.
  • Customers can open or set access interface permissions based on the scenario for the system’s operation interface, data monitoring interface, system administrator interface, debugging and maintenance interface, fault code analysis, and other interfaces.
  • The system is capable of data storage, data analysis, and formula management. It can generate primary control data formulas, such as tension, slitting speed, winding meter, and winding form, based on product specifications. Calling is convenient. The developed formula can resolve a critical issue;
  • For safety reasons, every part of the machine has an emergency stop button that must be manually pushed to get back to normal operation.
  • The system has both sound and light alerts that use different colors to show the status of equipment and any problems.
  • Short-circuit and overload protection are built into the circuit system, and the operation cabinet meets IP54 standards for protection.

Fiber Placement Automation Technology

Using automated fiber placement (AFP) technology, the placement head bundles multiple prepreg tows or dry fibers into a variable-width strip and places it with flexible pressing rollers and auxiliary heating devices.

automated fiber placement

Place it on the mold’s surface to realize the automatic molding technology of composite materials through heating and compacting.

As the raw material, AFP uses prepreg tow (also known as prepreg narrow tape) with a width of 3.2mm, and 12.7 mm, which can lay irregular shapes such as concave and convex surfaces at the same time, as well as increase or decrease the number of prepreg narrow tapes in real-time to meet the composite’s specific laying requirements such as local openings, regional reinforcement, and adaptive boundaries of material parts.

AFP offers a wider degree of freedom in the laying trajectory than ATL technology, may be put at continuously varied angles, and has considerable advantages in the automatic manufacturing of components with variable curvature and complicated surfaces, with improved product quality and reduced cost.

At the same time, the waste rate of AFP (3%–8%) is lower, the auxiliary material consumption is lower, and the worker labor intensity is considerably lowered; thus, AFP has developed rapidly in recent years.

In recent years, automatic laying technology has advanced considerably.

The laying head gathers many bundles of prepreg tows beneath the flexible pressure roller to form a belt and lays them according to the computer-planned direction.

During the fiber placement procedure, the prepreg thin tape can be independently regulated and turned.

It is extremely adaptable to curved surfaces. It may lay not only concave and convex surfaces, but also apertures, reinforcements, and other features to thicken the layup.

The fiber angle lower deviance and increased productivity.

In terms of civil aircraft, the fuselage structures of the Boeing 787 and A350 were all built utilizing automatic laying technology.

In terms of military aircraft, this technology has been used to build the wing-body fusion body and air inlet of the F-22 and F-35 aircraft.

High-end automatic wire laying equipment is a critical piece of special equipment produced by foreign military aircraft with significant strategic value.

What is prepreg?

Prepreg refers to a material made by impregnating a matrix in reinforcing fibers.

Prepreg is an intermediate product of resin-based composite material, which contains matrix resin (epoxy, phenolic, bismaleic bismaleimide, etc.) and reinforcement fibers (carbon fiber, glass fiber, aramid fiber, basalt fibers, etc.).

What is Carbon Fiber Prepreg?

Carbon fiber prepreg is a composite material made of carbon fiber yarn, epoxy resin, release paper, and other materials, which have been coated, hot pressed, cooled, coated, and coiled.

For the composite material process, the prepreg is the raw material for manufacturing structures, which can be directly used to manufacture various composite material structures. So, are you unfamiliar with the production process of carbon fiber prepreg?

At present, thermosetting resins (such as epoxy resins) are primarily used in producing carbon fiber prepregs, and the production processes mainly include solution and hot-melt methods.

What is prepreg used for?

When making carbon fiber products, it is necessary to use prepreg as an intermediate material.

Whether carbon fiber products can have excellent mechanical properties depends on whether the prepreg can play a connecting role.

What are Thermoplastic UD tapes?

Thermoplastic UD tapes have a carbon fiber reinforcing and are a high-performance elastomeric material. The UD material is made by molding a polymer or other resin around a continuous reinforcing textile filament, such as carbon fiber or woven fiber, that is inserted in the resin matrix during the high pressure, high-temperature pre-impregnation process.

Unidirectional is shortened as UD. This means that one side of the tape is smooth and flat, while the other side has a texture comparable to that of woven materials such as cotton or wool. The flat side is utilized to adhere to substrates, while the textured side is used to adhere to the surface of the substance being bonded.

UD tapes can be used to make robust and long-lasting connections between two materials or surfaces. They’re also commonly utilized as an adhesive backing on carbon fiber prepregs before they’re cut into panels or strips for usage in items like aviation parts or automobiles.

What are the UD Tape Slitting Spooling Machines?

UD tape slitting spooling machines, which are also called UD tape slitters, are used to slit UD tapes. Different varieties of UD slitters have been created to satisfy the varying requirements of clients.

Because of their superior heat resistance, UD tapes are frequently utilized in the aerospace and defense industries. Furthermore, they have excellent dimensional stability and mechanical strength. As a result, clients in these businesses place a high value on them.

By this machine, the UD tapes could be slit into narrow ribbons by the round disc knives assembly, then spooled in different patterns like the level wind pattern, and pyramidal wind pattern.

The spooling machine is a high technology and high precision machine that can realize all the high-grade composite machines converting. It will be widely used in all the composite material fields.

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