The Advantages of Robotic Fiber Positioning for Flexible Fiber Reinforced Rubber Products

Wednesday, October 13, 2010: 3:00 PM
Rob Barendse and Dimitrios Iakovou, Taniq BV, Rotterdam, Netherlands
With ever increasing demands on quality, costs and performance great improvement can be gained with a drastic change in production process for flexible fiber reinforced rubber products. In most products, fibers and rubber are manually applied by the means of calendered sheets. This paper shows the advantages of robotic fiber positioning for a variety of product applications. In this new process the separation of rubber and fiber placement increases the design space concerning material choice and fiber patterns. The high accuracy and variability of fiber positions allows for optimization of the design in terms of fiber and rubber stresses.  It is shown that such an optimal fiber architecture increases significantly the performance of the product as well as reduces material quantities. The proposed production set-up provides great flexibility in terms of product sizes and shapes as well as ability to create a large variety of winding or spiraling patterns. Furthermore the production process is automated and repeatable.