Overcoming Challenges in Manufacturing Complex Structures with Automated Dry Fibre Placement

Laura Veldenz, Mattia Di Francesco, Peter Giddings, Byung Chul Kim, Kevin Potter

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

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The automated deposition of dry fibre materials using Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) followed by high temperature resin infusion has emerged as a promising alternative to the use of pre-impregnated materials for manufacturing high value composite structures. In this additive manufacturing process, the machine deposits a course of multiple dry fibre tapes containing a binder, which is thermally activated by a heat source to adhere the incoming tapes to the substrate. The deposition is followed by high temperature vacuum-assisted resin infusion as an out-of-autoclave manufacturing route.

The automated manufacturing process of complex geometries can be expensive and time consuming if a trial and error approach is utilised. This work aims to develop an understanding of the fundamental aspects of the process in a systematic manner, employing the principle of the pyramid of testing to manufacturing. This enables a better understanding of a highly complex process and a reduction of the development time. The required knowledge includes information about the material, process control of the deposition phase and impact of geometrical complexity on the infusion process. This work showcases the development and application of a number of process analysis and definition tools to eliminate the extensive test campaign typically required to manufacture new highly complex structures by automated means.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2018
Event2018 International Conference on Manufacturing of Advanced Composites (ICMAC) - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201812 Jul 2018


Conference2018 International Conference on Manufacturing of Advanced Composites (ICMAC)
Abbreviated titleICMAC2018
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Automated Fibre Placement
  • Automation
  • design for manufacture
  • Automated Dry Fibre Placement
  • Vacuum assisted Resin Transfer Moulding (VaRTM)


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