13 August 2013
13 August 2013
The project aims to incorporate multi-functionality, damage tolerance and fatigue performance in advanced composites, and at the same time reduce manufacturing costs and cycle times through selective multi-scale hybridisation and the careful combination of fibre architectures.
Composites are traditionally manufactured with random fibre mats or SMC/BMCs for non-structural applications and with prepreg layers or slit tape for advanced structural applications. As low-cost damage-tolerant alternatives, 3D fibre assemblies, known as ‘preforms,’ are being developed; these preforms are processed through low-cost resin infusion and out-of-autoclave curing routes. Combining the expertise in applied robotics and textile technology, Prasad Potluri and his team have been developing novel machines such as 3D weaving, 3D braid-winding, stitch-bonding and robotic fibre placement machines for creating complex near-net 3D fibre preforms. This project “Innovative multi-material multi-architecture preforms” is one of the four main research topics funded by the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites (CIMComp).
Carbon fibres are combined with glass and thermoplastic fibres, as well as functional materials for electrical or thermal conduction, active heating, sensing, lightening protection and fibre-retardant properties. 2D/3D woven, braided and robotically placed multi-axial preforms, highly aligned discourteous preforms and metallic inserts are joined together with stitching and tufting techniques. This traditional knowledge in weaving, knitting, braiding, fibre processing, stitching and textile finishing processes is currently being applied to advanced composites manufacture at the North West Composites Centre.
Novel multi-material multi-architecture preforms will be demonstrated in aerospace, automotive and energy storage applications in collaboration with our industrial partners.
The other three projects in progress under CIMComp are as follows.
ZSK will hold its bi-annual technology showcase on 21-22 September 2018 at its Krefeld, Germany, headquarters. The Embroidery Technology Show assembles more than 25 exhibitors from around the world to discuss emerging trends in the embroidery manufacturing industry and demonstrate the latest products produced using techniques such as tailored fibre placement (TFP) or smart textiles.
Solvay has signed a ten-year agreement for the supply of composites and adhesives to be used across Bell's military and commercial rotorcraft programmes, including the Bell 429, 407, 505, 525, V-22, and UH-1.
SGL Carbon and Fraunhofer IGCV have officially opened the Fibre Placement Centre (FPC) at SGL's site in Meitingen, Germany. Compositence, BA Composites and the Chair for Carbon Composites at the Technical University of Munich have also joined the alliance, and Coriolis Group and Cevotec are planning to come on board as partners.