Together with the special machine manufacturer M&A Dieterle, the Institute for Composite Materials won third place in the AVK Innovation Award in the product development category. The award went to the Hand Laminator (HLG): a tape applicator for the manual application of unidirectionally oriented thermoplastic fiber tapes.
The innovation is based on the development of a process chain for the manufacture of individualized ankle orthoses whose support performance can be individually adapted to the needs of the patient. For this purpose, the orthosis is reinforced with unidirectionally oriented carbon fiber tapes according to the load path. The HLG was developed for simple and quick reinforcement of the orthoses, so that the orthopedic technician can place the fiber tapes on the orthosis on site. For this purpose, the matrix material is brought into the molten state by means of a hot shoe and then pressed onto the orthosis. However, the potential field of application of the HLG goes far beyond orthosis construction. Due to the lower investment costs compared to an industrial robot, the HLG also makes tape reinforcement profitable for the production of components with small quantities. In addition, the HLG is easy to use for individually adapted components, since no component-dependent programming of the placement process is necessary here.
The award ceremony took place during the 5th International Composites Conference (ICC) on September 10, 2019.