Multi-Step Thermoforming of Multi-Cavity, Multi-Axial Advanced Thermoplastic Composite Parts

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Multi-Step Thermoforming of Multi-Cavity, Multi-Axial Advanced Thermoplastic Composite Parts

Host Institution: University of Glasgow

Lead Investigator: Daniel Mulvihill, Euan McGookin, Philip Harrison

Aims

This feasibility study aims to improve the thermoforming of multi-layered pre-consolidated thermoplastic parts using a novel hybrid laminate configuration consisting of composite and metal layers. It will implement a controllable multi-actuator press and use it to investigate the forming mechanics of the hybrid sheet at high temperatures. The aim is to use the metal to heat the layup from the inside via Joule heating, melt the metal and then use the molten metal as a low viscosity lubricating medium to eliminate forming defects. The multi-actuator press will squeeze out the molten metal during forming (like toothpaste from a tube), aided by the metals high surface tension. The aim will be to reduce wrinkling in the final formed part and to reduce energy costs associated with heating.

Progress

Conducted initial experiments on moulding of metallic sheets.

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