Incremental sheet forming of fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites

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Incremental sheet forming of fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites

Host Institutions: The University of Bristol, The University of Nottingham

Start Date: 1st April, 2020

Duration: 6 months

Lead Investigator: Mike Johnson

Co-Investigators: Hengan Ou, Mike Elkington, Preetum Mistry


This research aims to investigate and develop a hybrid process for forming continuously reinforced thermoplastic (TP) sheet material.  The process uses a combination of bulk diaphragm forming and detailed incremental forming of distinct geometric features.  The industrial application of this process is targeted at, but not limited to, the rail industry.  Overall, the manufacturing technique meets the demand for large rail car body structures in low to medium volume production having a low first cost when compared thermostamping or autoclave manufactured components.

Figure 1. Hybrid manufacturing process consisting of bulk diaphragm forming combined with detailed incremental sheet forming to produce a continuously reinforced thermoplastic composite component.

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