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Assessment of Automated Fiber Placement for the Fabrication of Composite Wind Tunnel Blades


Title: Assessment of Automated Fiber Placement for the Fabrication of Composite Wind Tunnel Blades

Authors: Ray Grenoble, Ramy Harik, Daniel Munden, Joshua Halbritter, Dawn Jegley, and Brian Mason

DOI: 10.33599/nasampe/s.19.1574

Abstract: Composite wind tunnel blades are frequently fabricated by hand layup of prepreg fabrics. Though well proven, this fabrication method is laborious and expensive. The study described in this paper used the Integrated Structural Assembly of Advanced Composites (ISAAC) facility at the NASA Langley Research Center to explore whether automated fiber placement (AFP) could reduce manufacturing time and cost for production of wind tunnel blades. Two blades, taken from two NASA wind tunnels, were investigated as representative geometries. Computer-aided design models of the blade surfaces were created, and AFP process planning and programming were employed to study the manufacturability of the shapes. A placement/cure tool was manufactured for the chosen blade surface from thermoplastic material using an additive manufacturing process. The present study revealed that the AFP head geometry, primarily the heater configuration of the ISAAC system, is the primary constraint that limits the ability to manufacture the selected wind tunnel fan blades using AFP.

References: 1. Wahls, R.A. “The National Transonic Facility: A Research Retrospective.” 39th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting & Exhibit,” Reno, Nevada, January 8-11, 2001, AIAA-2001-0754. 2. Accessed 2/14/2019 3. NASA ISAAC Fact Sheet, FS-2016-12-273-LaRC, 2016. 4. Accessed 12/17/2018. 5., Accessed on 2/8/2019 6. accessed on 2/8/2019 7. Harik, R., Halbritter, J., Jegley, D., Grenoble, R., Mason, B., “Automated Fiber Placement of Composite Wind Tunnel Blades: Process Planning and Manufacturing”. Proceedings of SAMPE 2019 Conference & Exhibition, Charlotte, North Carolina, May 20-23, 2019, Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering.

Conference: SAMPE 2019 - Charlotte, NC

Publication Date: 2019/05/20

SKU: TP19--1574

Pages: 13

Price: FREE

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