The Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) at the RWTH Aachen University has recently installed Karl Mayer’s BIAXTRONIC CO warp knitting machine for making innovative semi-finished fibre products. Karl Mayer offers perfect solutions for the fields of warp knitting and flat knitting, technical textiles, warp preparation for weaving and digitalisation.

Recent textile projects at Aachen placed high demands on machine technology and required new investments. The BIAXTRONIC CO was delivered to Aachen at the end of 2020. It had been completely assembled and functionally tested in advance at Karl Mayer in Chemnitz, since it is a tailor-made model. The high-performance warp knitting machine with course-oriented weft-insertion was equipped with novel functions that will open up new research paths for the ITA and its research partners, Karl Mayer said in a media statement.

BIAXTRONIC CO is predestined for the production of biaxial non-crimp fabrics and composite structures, and was equipped with specific features for its use at the ITA. One of these is KAMCOS 2. The latest generation of Karl Mayer’s Command System offers an ethernet interface for integrating the machine into an existing network. This enables participation in future-oriented research topics such as Industry 4.0, inline quality control, sociology, and process chain networking, Karl Mayer said.

“We are planning to transmit the data from the producing machine via ethernet to the Internet of Production Excellence Cluster at RWTH Aachen University. The cluster deals with production research in high-wage countries. The BIAXTRONIC CO for the research facility was also equipped with an EL pattern drive. Electronic guide bar control and the ability to vary process parameters inline contribute to the production of locally adapted, tailor-made textiles,” Martin Scheurer from the department of textile machinery and ITA said in a Karl Mayer press release.

With BIAXTRONIC CO, ITA researchers want to further develop and produce reinforcement structures for concrete matrices in particular. Functional models and prototypes for other areas of application are also to be produced on the machine. Martin Scheurer and his team want to produce reinforcements for wound dressings and hybrid warp knitted fabrics on a nonwoven substrate, for example. The combination of grid structures with other materials facilitates fundamental research into geotextile applications. Projects for filtration technology can also be implemented. The production of unidirectional (UD) non-crimp fabrics for fibre composites and of flat warp knitted fabrics for heating textiles, which can be used in the mobility sector, are also conceivable. In addition to research and development work, the ITA has its sights set on production practice using the BIAXTRONIC CO. Users of weft-insertion machines can use the capacities and expertise in Aachen to optimise their production processes, produce prototypes of new textile structures or even test the processing of new materials, according to Karl Mayer.