CFRP nodes

CFRP node connections for ultra-lightweight grid frames

On ultra-lightweight and highly rigid CFRP grid frames, the weight budget usually does not tolerate the use of metallic connection systems such as T-Igel®. Rather, CFRP gusset plates are used in these cases in order to maximize the rigidity of the nodes.

TEUFELBERGER has developed a variety of prepreg gusset plates that enable the highly rigid and moment-free connection of CFRP diagonal struts and chord tubes.  

Due to their lightweighting potential, CFRP grid frames and lattice masts are mainly used where positioning accuracy and highest dimensional stability under load and/or acceleration are required. Their benefits also include excellent flexural and torsional rigidity. Hence, one encounters CFRP grid frames in measuring equipment, portals, cantilever arms, devices, telescopes, pick & place machines, airships, etc.

For these types of grid frame, TEUFELBERGER uses CFRP diagonal and chord tubes manufactured in braiding/RTM and/or filament winding processes. For the transmission of forces into the overall structure, we rely on our patented T-Igel® connection provided at the ends of the main chords. Because of the need for maximum lightweighting and minimal node moments, metallic T-Igel® connections are no longer used to connect diagonal CFRP struts. TEUFELBERGER relies only on CFRP node connections.

The CFRP nodes are manufactured in the prepreg pressing method. Their geometry is adapted to the respective outer diameters and edge lengths (for diagonal struts and chords of rectangular cross-section) and their layered structure is optimized for the loads that occur in the nodes. Due to the large areas to be adhesive-bonded in the gusset plates, additional securing by means of rivets is no longer necessary in most cases.

The grid frames are made in special bonding templates and tempered without distortions. For highly critical applications, an optional ultrasonic quality inspection of the various node connections can be conducted at local aeronautical testing institutes.

With our portfolio, we are the preferred one-stop supplier of our customers for ultra-lightweight CFRP grid frame systems:

  • T-Igel®
  • CFRP tension and compression struts (tie rods) featuring optimized longitudinal rigidity levels
  • CFRP main chords of lengths up to 4.5 m (in braid/RTM technology) and up to 20 m (in filament winding method)
  • TEUFELBERGER CFRP node connections

The experienced engineers in our research and development department handle the entire dimensioning and simulation of the grid frame based on your requirement specifications.