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Modelling Compaction Behavior of Toughened Prepreg During Automated Fibre Placement

SARTHAK MAHAPATRA, JONATHAN P.-H. BELNOUE, JAMES KRATZ, DMITRY S. IVANOV, STEPHEN R. HALLETT

Abstract


One of the most widely used automated manufacturing processes for composite parts is automated fibre placement (AFP). The deposition process involves the simultaneous warming, lay-up and consolidation of prepreg consisting of multitude of process parameters. Currently, AFP process parameters that ensure part conformance are derived by expensive and time-consuming trial-and-error approaches. The aim of this study is to demonstrate how physics-based finite element simulations that can predict the as manufactured geometry of a preform deposited by AFP can help reduce some of the empiricism associated with current industry practices. Here we particularly focus on the consolidation behaviour of toughened prepregs during the deposition process. An isothermal roller compaction model with thermal properties derived from an independent simplified thermo-mechanical model of the AFP head is used. Additionally, a fully characterised viscoelastic material definition is used for the prepreg tape along with a hyperelastic material for the compaction roller to accurately represent the physical parts. Various lay-up speeds, heater powers and compaction forces are simulated. To reduce the empiricism present in the manufacturing process, the viability of incorporating the numerical models into existing statistical relationships between process parameters and manufactured geometry is examined.


DOI
10.12783/asc36/35757

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