Work stream 4: Layer by Layer Curing

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Work stream 4: Layer by Layer Curing

Host Institutions: Cranfield University, The University of Bristol

Start Date: 1st June, 2020

Duration: 42 months

Lead Investigator: Alex Skordos

Co-Investigator: James Kratz


The aim of the core project is the development of the Layer by Layer (LbL) curing process at the level of complexity required for application to advanced composite structures. The overall aim of the project is achieved by addressing the following objectives:

  1. Development of fully coupled (thermal-consolidation-thermomechanical) 3D simulation of the LbL process combining appropriate modelling tools for each physics in an open-source interface.
  2. Development of constitutive models and associated characterisation campaigns addressing conventional and snap curing systems under the aggressive processing conditions of LbL curing.
  3. Process optimisation to achieve maximum interfacial toughness, minimum process duration and control of residual stresses.
  4. Development of tailored process setups, including an end effector and zonally heated reusable bagging, allowing implementation of the LbL process in complex geometries/components.
  5. Optimisation of LbL process implementation within the whole process chain to minimise defect generation due to ultralow viscosity, ply drop offs, gaps and curvature.
  6. Demonstration of applicability based on lab/pilot scale LbL implementations of AFP/ATL, pultrusion and filament winding.
  7. Demonstration of LbL process capabilities through the development of hybrid thermoset/thermoplastic components, stabilised preforms and laminates with tailored residual stress state.

Evidence of Impact

Principle Investigator, Dr Alex Skordos, Cranfield University introducing the project ‘Layer by Layer Curing’.

Co-Investigator, Dr James Kratz, University of Bristol, reporting on the research progress of the project ‘Layer by Layer Curing’.

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