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Title: Robot preforming of aerospace composites
Author: Silva Caballero, Alvaro
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 8132
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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With civil aircraft programs such as Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 XWB already in production and with the automotive industry working to replace metal in car bodies with light-weight materials, it is expected that the demand for composites will increase during the next years. With the increasing manufacturing volume, comes the question on how to mass-produce cost effective composite structures with the speed and quality required? The use of automated textile manufacturing technologies, together with vacuum assisted resin infusion techniques, has been considered as a solution. However, the production of 3D preforms with complex geometries from continuous and dry fibres is a non-trivial task due to the dexterity required to handle the raw material. During this research, the Robotic Dry Fibre Placement (RDFP) process was used to produce 3D preforms. In the RDFP process, a laminate is manufactured by stacking layers of fibres oriented in one direction (UD) in an analogue way of 3D printing. The RDFP process allows stacking each layer with its UD fibres oriented in an arbitrary in-plane direction to produce laminates with tailored mechanical properties. However, it is well known that laminated composites exhibit poor damage tolerance to low velocity impact. During this research two strategies to improve the damage tolerance were tested; tufting and quasi-interwoven lay-up. The manufacturing task was performed by a 4-axis gantry manipulator equipped with bespoke end-effectors.
Supervisor: Potluri, Venkata Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Automation ; Textile composites ; Robotic ; Dry Fibre Placement