More and more attention to the composite material ITMA 2019 textile technology exhibition

ITMA is a textile technology exhibition held every four years in Europe – known as the “Textile Machinery Olympics” – held from June 20th to 26th this year, attracting more than 105,000 visitors to Barcelona, ​​Spain.

The technology of 1,717 exhibitors from 45 countries is used to produce a wide range of fiber products, from traditional clothing and household items to more technical products such as building materials and filter media, as well as more and more composite reinforcements.

Non-curled fabric

For example, Karl Mayer of Germany has positioned himself as a leader in the field of multi-axis warp knitting machines for the production of non-crimped fabrics (NCF) and has introduced a new line of production of thermoplastic unidirectional tapes in ITMA 2019.

The new Sim.Ply UD system combines a fully modified diffusion module with integrated impregnation technology for continuous, efficient sequential and seamless interface processing to ensure consistently high diffusion quality.

Thanks to its high quality and precise alignment of the continuous fibers, the tape is ideal for high stress, fiber reinforced, lightweight construction. With its high production speed and ability to produce a wide range of broadband, this new line is suitable for large-scale production processes.

Karl Mayer also showed a range of products that have been produced on the new Sim.Ply UD, especially concrete parts reinforced with carbon or fiberglass NCF instead of steel. By using textile concrete, up to 70% of concrete can be saved, thus reducing CO2 emissions, energy and component weight. Other promising applications of these technical fabrics in the construction sector include cost-effective, flexible, stable roofing materials and asphalt roofing felts, special gypsum grids that increase the crack resistance of gypsum, and self-adhesives for repairing any cracks and holes. tape. It did happen.

In addition, the new bulletproof vest is made of aramid NCF, which is both effective and comfortable. It is produced by COP MAX 5 multi-axis warp knitting machine and adopts online coating process.

As described elsewhere on this website, Steiger Switzerland has also recently achieved success in the field of composite knitted preforms and introduced the Vega 3.130 compact knitting machine designed for ITMA 2019 technical fabrics.


Needle-punched nonwovens have found many new applications in the composites industry, including the recycling of carbon fiber waste, which has been used by automotive brands such as BMW in molded parts and molded (Slab) products made by SMC. Composite) and compression molding processes are now growing again in Europe.

One of ITMA’s 2019 largest booths, DiloGroup, showcases a complete and fully operational diloline 4.0 range, including fiber opening and mixing equipment, carding units, cross-lappers for compressing nonwoven web layers and HyperpunchHα needles. Thorn unit.

“Diloline 4.0 is equipped with a range of intelligent manufacturing functions developed in collaboration with Siemens to further simplify operations and improve the transparency of networking and integration by storing and quickly analyzing all machine data,” said John CEO of the group. Philipp Dilo.

Some development I4.0 modules have proven to demonstrate the potential of today’s automation for improved operational control and maintenance, and ultimately to deliver higher quality products.

Other major suppliers of acupuncture nonwovens include Autefa, which is currently completing its fourth production line at its technical center in Linz, Austria, dedicated to materials based on carbon and other advanced composite fibers, as well as aerospace components. Experts and other partners FACC.

The investment of 3.5 million euros is located in the center of the dedicated 6,000 square meter area, not only for testing, but also for the full production of third-party OEMs and suppliers.


Many weaving machinery manufacturers are now building special systems for glass and carbon fiber fabrics, the pioneer of which is the German Dornier. However, Italy’s Itema has just set up a new company called Itematech, which is committed to technical fabric technology after acquiring the expertise of PTMT (formerly Panter).

The Belgian-based Vandewiele is also involved in many recent research projects to develop next-generation textiles for composite materials as key technology partners, for example, in the €7.8 million 3D Lighttrans project, leading to the introduction of complexity and cost – for An effective new 3D textile reinforcement for thermoplastic composites.

Dornier is also a leader in 3D weaving technology, but at ITMA 2019, the new Optima Series 500, which is being patented by Optima 3D, is a new competitor.

“The traditional 3D weaving method has been to modify the old 2D technology, but we have accepted the technological development of machine control systems and designed and developed the next generation of 3D weaving machines, which have very significant advantages,” said Managing Director Steve Cooper. Explain. “In particular, the Optima design offers more flexible weaving capabilities, and the combination of excellent operator control and automation systems ensures quality and repeatability, and its compact design makes installation and integration easier into the weaving process.”

Industry 4.0

The theme of ITMA 2019 is Industry 4.0 and Automation – and of course the composites manufacturer is already very advanced – but at the Barcelona show a rich robotic arm, AGV and VR demonstrations, it seems that textile technology is now rapidly swaying its “sunset industry” Image.

For example, the new HelMo mobile robot system, jointly developed by Stäubli in Switzerland and Ontec in Germany, automatically navigates and navigates while moving spools between workstations and machines throughout the show. It is equipped with three laser scanners that permanently monitor the surrounding environment to ensure precise navigation and safety when working with the operator.

In future editorials, I will pay more attention to the automation of textile reinforcement technology.