23 April 2010
23 April 2010
Combining their inter-disciplinary expertise in composites and advanced machine production, Mikrosam has built and proven a concept automated fibre placement machine.
Fibre placement has proven itself as a key method of producing advanced composites, the final composite parts being able to fully exploit the special and an--isotropic characteristics of its raw materials due to the freedom that this manufacturing process gives to the designer. Until recently, Mikrosam say that these tools were only available to large defence contractors and big aerospace providers, due to their massive cost, high maintenance and operation fees, and the lack of interest to serve the researchers and the medium-scale producers.
Mikrosam say that with their innovative solution, small to medium-scale producers and research institutes can begin to fully exploit their creative composite design capabilities and step-up to a higher level of composite production. All the components necessary to be able to produce a fibre placed composite are provided by Mikrosam in a single package.
Fiber placement head
The heart of the deposition process is the fibre placement head. It allows on-the-fly cutting, clamping and restarting of every single tow, while maintaining proper temperature difference between the deposition surface and inside the head. The operator is provided with an easy way to access all the areas of the head that need cleaning, and a quick-clean method to replace dirty parts with spare clean ones to maximize the machine’s effective uptime.
Offline programming and analysis – MikroPlace
MikroPlace provides an environment for the composite part designer to be able to create composite structures using automated fibre placement techniques, and at the end, to generate the actual program to be executed on an AFP machine. The part designer can perform most of the necessary steps in developing an advanced composite part right in the MikroPlace environment, by being able to draw or import the part’s tool, create ply laminates from numerous strategies, analyze and fix production issues, and do custom post-processing modifications of the final layup.
MikroPlace has been built from the ground-up with the composite designer in mind, to allow the designer maximum flexibility in developing, simulating and producing the final product. It is well known that composite product creation is a challenging and creative process, one that can also yield great results.
Online control and data acquisition – MikroAutomate
MikroAutomate is an online control and data acquisition system tailored to the specific needs of fibre placement production. The system has been designed to provide an intuitive interface over the complete production process, localized to the language of choice by the customer.
Coriolis Composites has been selected by the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University (WSU), US, to provide a thermoplastics capable Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) system.
Boeing and Thermwood have employed additive manufacturing technology to produce a large, single-piece tool for the 777X programme. The project is demonstrating that additive manufacturing is ready to produce production quality tooling for the aerospace industry.
CRP USA will display solutions for the space industry manufactured in the Windform family of materials at Satellite Innovation 2018 at the Silicon Valley Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California, US, on 9-11 October.