Local Resin Printing for preform stabilisation

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Local Resin Printing for preform stabilisation

Host Institution: The University of Nottingham

Start Date: 1st February, 2019

Duration: 2 years

Lead Investigator: Adam Joesbury

Aims

This project is a Platform activity to understand how local printing of liquid resin can modify deformation characteristics of dry fibre textiles, and investigate how this technique can be exploited to improve composites manufacturing processes, such as preforming, handling, forming, and resin infusion. The overall objective of the project is to understand whether this is a worthwhile research theme and define in which direction work should progress after the conclusion of the Feasibility Study.

Progress

Working with colleagues within the University of Nottingham Composites Research Group, a theme of study was defined that has the potential to provide a step change in composites manufacturing. The scope of a feasibility study was established by identifying Key Decision Criteria (KDC) and setting the target to answer KDC questions to determine if the research theme is worthwhile.

A initial proof-of-concept study has been achieved by the deposition of liquid resin onto glass fibre textiles using inkjet printing methods. This activity enabled insight to be gained into the advantages and limitations of inkjet deposition techniques. Crucially, it has yielded experimental evidence of affecting textile deformation properties by liquid resin printing. In addition to inkjet printing, alternative methods of liquid resin deposition have also been trialled as potential candidates for technology scale-up.

Good progress has been made thanks to collaboration with the University of Nottingham Centre for Additive Manufacturing. Through this multidisciplinary collaboration, with a research centre that is external to the Composites Hub, initial printing trials have been made by using routinely available equipment utilised for a new application. This collaborative approach enabled the first printing trials to be conducted at low cost and low risk. Enabling an investigative way forwards to be identified and providing confidence towards possible future equipment investment; specifically for use in composites manufacturing.

Figure 1 ‘grid print’ – Inkjet printing of lattice pattern onto dry glass fibre textile

Figure 2 ‘mech test’ – In-plane shear testing of printed specimens


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