Modelling the Automated Tape Placement of Thermoplastic Composites with In-Situ Consolidation
In situ consolidation of thermoplastic composites opens the possibility of fully automated composite production when coupled with fibre placement technologies such as automated fibre placement (AFP) and automated tape placement (ATP). These approaches show much potential for flexible and efficient manufacture of lightweight and high performance automotive structures, including high pressure storage vessels for gaseous fuels. The placement rate of such systems must be maximised for production, however maintaining composite quality is nontrivial due to the highly dynamic behaviours at the nip point. Bonding is governed by intimate contact, autohesion and degradation processes. The quality is a function of the level of bonding, crystallinity, void dynamics and residual stress generation. The behaviour of these processes is dictated by the temperature and/or pressure distributions at the interface. In order to analyse the welding process it is therefore necessary to have models for each of the processes combined with robust pressure and temperature analysis. Process optimisation is a trade-off between the different aspects of quality. This paper will investigate the limitations of the work to date and identify improvements for future work.
KeywordsResidual Stress Intimate Contact Void Content Thermoplastic Composite Placement Process
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