Automated layup of sheet prepregs on complex moulds

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Abstract

A new two-stage method for the automated manufacture of high performance composites components is presented which aims to combine the capacity for forming complex shapes of Hand Layup with the speed of existing automated systems. In the first stage of the new process plies are formed into the approximate shape of the mould using a press mechanism. They are then passed onto a layup stage which uses multiple end effectors controlled by a six axis robot to stick the plies down onto the mould. This is the first time an automated process has been capable of forming sheets of woven prepreg onto truly complex moulds while maintaining a high level of fibre alignment. This work represents a condensed version of the second half of the thesis by the author entitled ‘The evolution and automation of sheet prepreg layup’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)70-84
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Advanced Materials
Volume3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Composites
  • Automation
  • Layup
  • Prepreg

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