Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Towards an in-process inspection system for advanced composites manufacture
Author: Crowley, Dennis Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 3781
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The manufacture of advanced composites components is a complex and multi-stage process. However, the properties of advanced composite materials are attractive for a number of applications, particularly those where lower weight components are required . Historically advanced composite raw materials, such as carbon fibres, have been costly, which limited them to high-performance applications where cost was not the prime driver, such as military aerospace and motorsport. More recently, however, their applications have grown to include civil aerospace in secondary structures and in high-performance and luxury automotive applications. The composites industry is expected to see a period of relatively high growth over the next decade, with flagship projects such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350XWB aircraft .also incorporating carbon fibre materials into their fuselage structures. The BMW i3 electric megacity car also uses a carbon-fibre chassis and is expected to be produced at rates which are an order of magnitude higher than previous automotive applications. This need to make more components at a higher production rate and lower cost is the main motivation for this study. Quality control and scrap form a large source of the cost of advanced composites components. It is felt that by introducing in-process inspection, over and above the current quality control practices, that the cost reductions necessary to ensure the future growth and attractiveness of advanced composites can be achieved. This work has determined that for an in-process inspection system to be successful a more holistic approach is necessary; thus process documentation, traceability and the human-in-the-loop were also considered along with measurement. The human-in-the-loop was investigated through a series of semi-structured interviews using prevalent motivation theories as a framework. The process documentation was reviewed and led to the development of a digital, on-line tool for organising acceptance criteria and defect reporting. The measurement system was developed through experiments and led to a prototype meas~rement system and a metric for the identification of bridging, a common in-process defect. The framework for an in-process inspection, developed during this research, includes a laser stripe scanner for 2 and 3D surface measurement, an on-line acceptance criteria tool which gives quality traceability and facilitates two-way communication, and a suggested management framework established from the semi-structured interviews. These would be used as part of a knowledge system which has the potential to improve design for manufacture in the early stages of product development, compounding the potential cost savings and productivity improvements realised by the in-process inspection system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available