Texnet Director Steve Kay was appointed to the Experts Panel of the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing in 2010. This led to him becoming aware of an opportunity to involve a UK car manufacturer in a novel Textile reinforced polymer composites (TRPC) project.
Through our network of contacts we were able to recruit Bentley Motors as a project partner. The 3D-LightTrans project enabled NW Texnet’s member organisations to participate as providers of process expertise. This is a significant opportunity, as innovation will be needed in multiple processes and their integration into an automated manufacturing chain in order to achieve project objectives.
The ultimate aim of the project was to produce prototype 3D woven demonstrator parts for the automotive sector: one of these parts, a tailgate for a Fiat 500, won an Innovation Award at the prestigious JEC trade fair for technical excellence, quality of the partnership, market potential, and originality.