Development of discontinuous fibre preforming processes

Patel, Critesh (2013) Development of discontinuous fibre preforming processes. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Discontinuous fibre composites are under increasing investigation for structural and semi-structural components as they are easily automated, making it possible to remove costly hand labour based steps typically associated with advanced fibre reinforced composites. Directed fibre preforming (DFP) is one possible process which has several advantages when compared with competing techniques. Low material and process costs coupled with short cycle times means the process is suited to medium volume production (typically <10,000 ppa). Predicting mechanical performance remains a major obstacle to industrial adoption however, due to the stochastic nature of fibre distribution. This is of particular importance for structural applications where minimum property requirements and a greater certainty of performance must be achieved.

This thesis employs a stochastic macroscale modelling approach to predict fibre locations during the reinforcement deposition stage. This is achieved through process characterisation studying the effects of key microstructural and process-specific parameters on fibre distribution and orientation. The proposed DFP simulation software can generate realistic fibre networks for complex three-dimensional component geometries providing feedback on preform quality. This information is used to optimise the preform structure via process input parameters such as robot trajectory and material properties with validation tests conducted to assess model accuracy.

An interface between the simulation software and commercial finite element code facilitates mechanical property analysis for full-scale components using realistic load cases. The complete software package is intended to streamline the route to manufacture for DFP processes from a conceptual design stage.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Turner, T.
Warrior, N.A.
Keywords: Composite, Carbon, Automation, Modelling, Discontinuous fibre, Preforming
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 13799
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2014 12:22
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 11:45

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