A methodology for the automation of dry fabric layup for fiber reinforced polymer composite manufacturing
The purpose of this thesis is to test a new method known as shearing for the layup of Non-Crimp Fabric (NCF) plies for 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional composite components. This research includes the development of a machine capable of imparting shear on NCF plies. Results are presented with an equation for calculating machine settings for a given contour.
The machine is found to be capable of imparting a shear on the fabric, and the shear is found to have a significant positive impact on the quality of these samples during fabric layup. Fatigue tensile testing was conducted to understand the effect of the shearing method on the properties of composite components, and the samples produced by the machine display a fatigue life greater than samples produced by other methods. This research makes the automation of composite layup possible, which could replace high labor costs in industries such as wind turbine blade manufacturing.