Powder-Epoxy Carbon Fibre Towpreg for High Speed, Low-Cost Automated Fibre Placement

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Powder-Epoxy Carbon Fibre Towpreg for High Speed, Low-Cost Automated Fibre Placement

Host Institutions: The University of Nottingham, University of Edinburgh

Start Date: 1st January, 2020

Duration: 2 years

Lead Investigator: Colin Robert

Aims

The project objective is to develop automation of a towpregging tapeline, producing low-cost powder-based epoxy carbon fibre composite with a high deposition rate for use on automated fibre placement (AFP) machines. The following milestones describe the project steps to achieve success.

  1. Initial risk mitigation: Produce carbon fibre tape “as is” (using the current tapeline and state of the art technology) and run initial trials with Coriolis very versatile AFP machine Csolo©.
  2. Instrumentation: Improve the reliability, control and accuracy of the tapeline by adding several controllers/readers (IR temperature sensors, tachometers, tensiometers) and by centralising all data output.  
  3. HMI: Include an overall control system (spool speed and tension, electrostatic gun deposition parameters) to ensure the full automation and stability of the process. 
  4. Optimisation: Manufacture AFP-grade tape with controlled FVF, temperature and tension and optimise parameters to obtain the best mechanical properties. Composite test plates will be manufactured and compared at UoE. 
  5. Development: Plates and more complex 3D structures will be manufactured using the optimized version of the tape on the Csolo© machine and samples will be compared with their commercial equivalent 
  6. Dissemination: The NCC will host a seminar in order to facilitate dissemination and routes to applications.

 


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