An automated fabric layup machine for the manufacturing of fiber reinforced polymer composite

Date
2013-01-01
Authors
Zhu, Siqi
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Abstract

In the industry of wind turbine blades, the manufacturing of large-scale composite parts is becoming more common. Much effort has been focused on reducing the manufacturing cost and increasing quality by automating the manual layup process.

This paper presents a novel automated fabric layup solution based on a new method to deform fiberglass fabric, referred to as shifting, for the layup of non-crimp fabric (NCF) plies. A mathematical model has been presented to describe the method. Preliminary tests have been conducted in order to test the physical plausibility of the shifting method. The layup test showed that shifting can produce layups with accurate two dimensional geometry while avoiding out-of-plane deformation. In addition, material testing was conducted to understand the material properties of the parts made by the shifting method. A prototype machine was built to test the feasibility of automating the shifting method and layup tests were conducted to test the performance of the apparatus.

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Keywords
Automation, Fabric Manipulation, Lay-up, Wind Turbine Blades
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