Rapid manufacturing of woven comingled flax/polypropylene composite structures

  • Imed Derbali
  • Svetlana TerekhinaEmail author
  • Laurent Guillaumat
  • Pierre Ouagne
Original Research


The use of natural fibre reinforced composites such as flax fibre / polypropylene is in a constant expansion particularly in automotive and marine industries due to their good mechanical properties, low density and thus, lightness, low environmental impact, low cost, recyclability, renewable properties of flax fibres and a minimum energy intake during their process. One of the major challenges of thermoplastic composites for the automotive industry is to manufacture finished parts in a single processing step within a minimum amount of time. For this purpose, a stamping airflow device was specifically developed. It is designed to produce woven comingled composite parts from comingled woven fabrics such as flax/polypropylene in only 200 s. Firstly, preliminary tests and the optimization of processing parameters were performed. Then, a quasi-static mechanical characterization of the formed parts was realized. By using criteria based on mechanical properties, the optimal process parameters such as the level of pressure, temperature, holding time and cooling rate so that to obtain the lowest voids rate were determined. Finally, a comparison of the mechanical properties of parts obtained from using the new manufacturing process and a conventional thermo-compression process is presented to demonstrate the interest and the level of performance achieved by this original and fast manufacturing device.


Flax/polypropylene comingled fabric Rapid manufacturing Thermo-compression Void effect Mechanical characterization 



We warmly thank Angers Metropole Regional Foundation for supporting this researching work and DEPESTELE group for supplying the comingled flax-PP fabrics used in this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

We confirm that this work is original and has not been published elsewhere nor is currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Angevin de Mécanique, Procèdes et innovAtion, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art et MétiersAngers Cedex 01France
  2. 2.Laboratoire Génie de Production, (LGP), Université de Toulouse, INP-ENITTarbes CEDEXFrance

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