The engineering aspects of automated prepreg layup: History, present and future

Dirk H. -J. A. Lukaszewicz, Carwyn Ward, Kevin D. Potter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

347 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Highly consistent quality and cost-effective manufacture of advanced composites can be achieved through automation. It may therefore open up new markets and applications for composite products in aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, and consumer goods. Automated Tape Laying (ATL) and Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) are the two main technologies used to automate the layup of prepreg. The historical development and past research of both technologies is reviewed; with an emphasis on past issues in application and capability as well as their solution, including both thermoset and thermoplastic material layup. It is shown that past developments have moved away from simply emulating manual layup into the now unique layup procedures for ATL, and into the current AFP technology base. The state of the art for both technologies is discussed and current gaps in the understanding of both processes highlighted. From this, future research needs and developments are derived and discussed. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1009
Number of pages13
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • REINFORCEMENT
  • Laminates
  • COMPOSITES
  • Automation
  • Lay-up
  • MODEL
  • FABRICATION PROCESSES
  • LASER
  • VOID DYNAMICS
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • ROBOTIC FIBER PLACEMENT
  • THERMOPLASTIC TOW-PLACEMENT
  • Prepreg
  • CONSOLIDATION

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