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UT-IACMI add Automated Tape Placement Capability

Automated tape placement laying up C/PEEK tape

IACMI-UT has enabled Automated Tape Placement (ATP) equipment in Knoxville, adding significant integrated manufacturing capabilities to the East Tennessee region. ATP is a family of manufacturing techniques, which refer to the precise laying of continuous fiber tapes to manufacture multi-layered composite products for high-performance applications. The features of the equipment are:- (a) Head with compaction roller; (b) Thermoplastic tape and/or thermoset tow-pregs feeding system; (c) Robotic mechanism holding the head; and (d) Human machine Interface. The ATP commissioned by IACMI has an Automated Dynamics (Trelleborg) 6-axis Kawasaki Model ZZX130LD CNC Robot to feed thermoplastic tape and/or thermoset tow pregs. Materials ranging from carbon (C), glass (G) /polypropylene (PP) to C or G/Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and C/epoxy can be used. The equipment is flexible in terms of different mandrels including – cylindrical, flat and asymmetrical shapes. Custom shapes can also be produced through the CAD interface with additively printed mandrels. The ATP will be used in IACMI stakeholders and collaborator projects as well as broad workforce development efforts. The next generation workforce of graduate and undergraduate students will receive state of the art training with the ATP asset and stem tangible technology innovation. This technology has immediate benefits for the aerospace, defense, high-performance automotive, infrastructure, and power transmission sectors. Any industry partners or IACMI members interested in learning more about this technology should contact IACMI CTO, Dr. Uday Vaidya at


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