Title: A Comparison of Infrared and Xenon Flashlamp Heating for Thermoset Automated Fibre Placement
Authors: Dr David Williams
Abstract: There is a strong demand from industries such as Aerospace and Automotive to produce carbon fibre reinforced composite components at a rate and quality that is beyond the capabilities of current manufacturing processes. One way in which composites manufacturers are trying to meet this demand is in improvements to existing automated manufacturing processes.
Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) is one such process that is being assessed for improvements in speed and quality of lay-up. In order to increase the lay-up speed of AFP systems, while retaining the required final part quality, higher powered and better controlled heat sources are required.
The standard infrared heating lamps that are seen on many existing AFP systems have some limitations in terms of maximum power and controllability. An alternative heating technology, based on the Xenon flash lamp, has been developed and shows some promise in processing high temperature materials such as thermoplastics and dry fibre, but there is little information in the literature on flash lamp heating of thermoset materials.
In this paper, the flash lamp heating technology is compared with standard infrared lamp heating in AFP lay-up. Quarter-inch thermoset tapes are processed at a range of lay-up speeds and heater powers. Temperatures generated at the nip point between substrate and incoming tow are captured using a thermal camera.
Three aspects of the lay-up are investigated: the maximum achievable lay-up speed; the homogeneity of the heating across the material width, perpendicular to the lay-up direction; and the ability of the heating systems to control fast heat-up and cool-down rates.
The maximum achievable lay-up speed is extrapolated beyond the upper speed limit of the robot by calculating the heating power law relating the heater power to the robot speed. Also, the heating profiles perpendicular to the lay-up direction are investigated more closely to compare the levels of unwanted heating outside the typical two-inch process zone. Finally, the rate at which each heat source can take the material from ambient to target temperature and back is quantified, giving useful insights into their relative performance when complex parts are being manufactured.
References: 1. Williams, D. and Brown, M. “Developments in Xenon Flashlamp Heating for Thermoplastic Automated Fibre Placement”, Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Automated Composites Manufacturing, Montreal, Canada, April 2019. 2. Williams, D., “A New Light on Composites Heating”, JEC Composites Magazine 111, Special JEC Issue, March 2017 3. Brandt, L., Deden, D., Fischer, F., Dreher, P. N., Williams, D., Engelschall, M., Nieberl, D., and Nowotny, S. “Xenon flashlamp based in-situ automated fiber placement of thermoplastic composites”. In: Twenty-Second International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM22), Melbourne, Australia, August 2019. 4. Deden, D., Bruckner, F., Brandt, L. and Fischer, F. J. C. “Comparison of Heat Sources for Automated Dry Fibre Placement: Xenon Flashlamp vs. Infrared Heating”, In: Twenty-Second International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM22), Melbourne, Australia, Aug 2019. 5. Lichtinger, R., Hörmann, P., Stelzl, D. and Hinterhölzl, R., “The effects of heat input on adjacent paths during automated fibre placement”, Composites: Part A (2014), Volume 68, January 2015, Pages 387-397. 6. Hörmann, P., Stelzl, D., Lichtinger, R., Van Nieuwenhove, S., Mazón Carro, G., Drechsler, K. ”On the numerical prediction of radiative heat transfer for thermoset automated fiber placement”, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing 67, 282–288, 2014. 7. Calawa, R. and Nancarrow, J., ""Medium Wave Infrared Heater for High-Speed Fiber Placement,"" SAE Technical Paper 2007-01-3842, 2007. 8. Di Francesco, M., Veldenz, L., Dell'Anno, G. and Potter, K. “Heater power control for multi-material, variable speed Automated Fibre Placement.” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 101:408–421, 2017. 9. Monnot, P., Williams, D. and Di Francesco, M., ""Power control of a flashlamp-based heating solution for Automated Dry Fibre Placement,"" In: 18th European Conference on Composite Materials (ECCM 18), Athens, Greece, June 2018.
Conference: CAMX 2022
Publication Date: 2022/10/17
Price: $18.00Get This Paper