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Intelligent Processes and Operational Monitoring of Composite Systems



Advances in the design, development, and applications of multifunctional materials is an important aspect of 3rd generation material structures. Design and process fabrication provide critical linkages between the intent and operational characteristic of man-made structures. The research community has gravitated towards knowledge-based design, as a means to intelligently and concurrently manufacture device structures. In this work, we present the congruence of i) process and ii) operational data, as a construct of the digital twin. A multifunctional composite is created through an integrative multi-material additive manufacturing (AM) approach, for monitoring the composite fabrication process and integrating sensors thereby providing enriched datasets that can be traced to each individually manufactured product. Linkages of the process-property-performance relationships will be studied and highlighted as a digitally driven discovery for improving additive manufacturing capabilities to produce composite structures with customized, inexpensive and smart 3D printed molds. Uniquely, concepts of IIoT and industry 4.0 drive the manufacturing, data collection and streaming of smart material composites. i.) Simultaneous manufacturing between cooperative robots enables a higher degree of complexity with multi-material deposition and processing. Data collection from printed sensors can profile a part, from start to finish, for individualized quality assurance and life cycle monitoring with 33% retained performance after repeated use. ii.) An inkjet printed curing sensor providing in situ process analysis throughout the liquid composite mold (LCM). Real-time cure rate monitoring facilitates informed manufacturing of customized composites enabling accurate failure prediction/prevention and reduces non-value-added time by automating the process. It is shown that 10 hours is sufficient to obtain a complete cure of the tested resin. A hybridized approach to novel composite manufacturing is made possible by the intelligent integration of dissimilar smart materials, bridging the gap of function and form in one tooling component for composite fabrication with the aid of cooperative automation.


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