Rheden, April 28 2022


Cato Composites  replaced forged aluminum by Fast forged Carbon, “crafted by Cato”.


Cato Composites BV demonstrates the mass manufacturing of UD CFRTP forged Carbon structural components replacing forged aluminum components.


Cato Composites has developed a Tree Climbing Shank and a new series production process of a lightweight performance, safety-critical Component made out of Carbon/PC UD Tapes for the leading German brand Distel. The Tree Climbing Shank is one of the first components that is manufactured from thermoplastic composites (UD tapes) in an automated high volume production of >5.000 parts year replacing forged aluminum components.


Tree climbing with gear is a professional  and maintenance  activity of tree arborists or service engineers, where the full dynamic loads of the climbing person have to be beared by the tree climbing gear’s shank, which has up to now been made of steel, aluminum or thermoset composites.


The newtree climbing shank from UD CFRTP is constructed by using an anisotropic lay-up of more than 50 layers of uni-directional Carbon/PC tapes tailored to maximise lightweight performance, leading to a weight reduction of the product of close to 50% compared to forged aluminum solutions. The tree climbing shanks is a safety product and meets all relevant ASTM standards, e.g. holding maximum loads up to 330 kg on one foot, combined with an excellent durability performance in a challenging forest environment.


For the manufacturing of the new tree climbing shank in such a complex shape, it was necessary to develop, a scalable cost competitive mass production method. For this purpose Cato Composites developed a proprietary Variotherm Compression Moulding so called Fast CFRTP Forging Technology. This technology enables an automated processing of the net shaped UD Tape lay-up to the final part with minimum material waste and maximum structural integrity and  guaranteing high volumes in a constant quality.


The Cato Fast CFRTP Forging technology enables Cato to lower cycle times in high volumes while significantly lowering costs compared to thermoset composites. The product is formed net shaped which creates near zero waste in production contributing to reducing CO2 emissions as well as lowering costs due to minimization of finishing steps.


With this innovation Cato demonstrates the possibility of producing structural parts with high performance requirements in mass production volumes at competitive costs out of thermoplastic composite UD tapes, transferable other parts and industries.

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