Automated manufacturing of composites

Tóm tắt

Long fibre reinforced polymer composite materials have found many applications in many industries, such as aerospace, automotive, marine, wind turbine, and sports. Techniques for the manufacturing of structures used in these industries have been mainly Hand Lay Up (HLU), and Liquid Composite Moulding. While there are a few automated methods of manufacturing, such as Filament Winding and Pultrusion, these techniques are restricted to make structures that consist of surfaces of revolution, or fibres that are aligned only along one direction. The conventional methods of manufacturing of composites are therefore very restricted, either in slow rate of production, or in the shapes of structures that can be made. The advent of Automated fibre Placement (AFP) machines and automated tape lay up machines have brought forward new capabilities where structures of different shapes may be manufactured at relatively higher speeds. This paper presents an overview of the applications of AFP for the processing of structures made from thermoset matrix and thermoplastic matrix composites. Advantages and disadvantages, along with issues associated with the use of this new technique in the processing of each type of material will be discussed.