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A Model for Predicting the Cured Part Thickness of Automated Fiber Placed Composites


Title: A Model for Predicting the Cured Part Thickness of Automated Fiber Placed Composites

Authors: Matthew L. Kirby, Christopher J. Madsen, David S. Riha, Christopher T. Palmer, and Paul F. Olsen

DOI: 10.33599/nasampe/s.19.1384

Abstract: Fabricating polymer matrix composite parts within a tight thickness tolerance can be a significant challenge due to incoming material and part-manufacturing variability. Predicting part thickness prior to cure based on incoming material and process parameters may provide an opportunity to apply pre-cure ply compensation in order to achieve the desired post-cure thickness. Recently a model was developed to predict the cured thickness of composite parts fabricated via a hand layup process. This thickness model was demonstrated for hand layup unidirectional tape composite parts, but the model does not capture the unique variations and uncertainties associated with automated fiber placed parts, namely the reduction in prepreg areal weight due to tape slitting. Since the automated fiber placement process offers increased material deposition rates along with reduced material waste, many composite part-manufacturing operations are moving to automated fiber placement. Therefore, it is necessary to develop capabilities to predict the thickness of automated fiber placed parts. The goals of this work were to (1) calibrate the thickness model for automated fiber placed composite parts and (2) validate the thickness predictions for production-scale representative parts. Additionally, prepreg areal weight monitoring methods were investigated to improve model predictions.

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Conference: SAMPE 2019 - Charlotte, NC

Publication Date: 2019/05/20

SKU: TP19--1384

Pages: 15

Price: FREE

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