SHAPE Machining Ltd launches the ShapeTex brand for the new and highly efficient composite preform manufacturing process.

Under the ShapeTex brand SHAPE offers a capability to manufacture highly efficient, structurally optimised preforms with minimum waste to suit a wide variety of components across a range of industries.

Managing Director, Peter McCool commented “We have been working on this technology for several years and have developed it to the point where we can now offer it commercially to customers across a range composite industry sectors.

ShapeTex technology enables unparalleled part optimisation with complex local reinforcements.

ShapeTex preforms can be manufactured from dry carbon/glass fibre yarns for use in Resin Infusion or RTM processes.

But the manufacture of preforms using SYNERGEX, a unique commingling of carbon and thermoplastic fibres, unlocks significantly more potential for the high-volume production of composite components.“

The SHAPE developed thermoplastic preforms have already been pressed at the SHAPE facility in Witney, Oxfordshire. Further development is planned to optimise cycle times for this simple and efficient process.

“The beauty of this process is that it is highly scalable and can be fully automated” added McCool.

A ShapeTex preform with SYNERGEX commingled thermoplastic carbon fibre offers multiple advantages over current composite manufacturing methods:

– Increased optimisation of fibre alignment (“key differentiator”)
– Decreased processing time
– Higher production volume capability
– Reduced waste
– Fully automated production process

“Composite designers are no longer restricted to a simple 0/90 fibre direction. With a ShapeTex preform there is no limit to the level of optimisation, of the laminate, that is possible.” said McCool.

SHAPE Machining specialises in machining epoxy tooling block patterns, Rohacell foams and the trimming of carbon fibre parts for the automotive, motorsport and aerospace industry.

SHAPE Engineering offers a full range of design, analysis and project management services to support composite part and tooling projects.

SHAPE Composites supplies thermoset and thermoplastic composite preforms and parts ranging from bespoke autoclave cured carbon parts to larger volumes of hot pressed formed carbon parts.

(image of a ShapeTex preform collage)

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