Automated Dynamics released laser system head for fiber placement

2015-12-04

It shall be the truth that the total performance of prepregs would be better than other configuration of FRPs like RTM and injection because of the difference of resin impregnation condition. But the layup process of prepregs will take longer time than others.

 

The fiber placement technique is one of the breakthrough to make the problem clear. Automated Dynamics ( ADC ) should be the pioneer company in the field of the fiber placement industries. We can understand from the URL below that they have more than 30 years history in the technique.

http://www.automateddynamics.com/

 

The typical video of the fiber placement can be watched below.
The designed width cut tapes are placed by the robot with the heating and pressing process.

(The video information is referred from http://www.automateddynamics.com/ .)

 

Kyokuto Boeki Kaisha, Ltd. is the business agent here in Japan.

http://www.kbk.co.jp/en/
 

ADC applied the hot gas system for material heating.

The press release mentioned that they newly applied laser heating system, developing with Long Island Forum for Technology ( LIFT ) .
The article can be read below.

http://www.automateddynamics.com/2015/company-news/automated-dynamics-brings-laser-heating-system-to-lift

 

The key factors for the fiber placement technique are the control of "Temperature" and "Pressure".
The concept of the fiber placement is; the materials are heated by laser just before the layup to make it soft, and then the heated materials are welded by the compaction roller to complete the process.

 

ADC's conventional system would be hard to keep the quality and process capability. The gas tank shall be stored and it would be difficult to control and concentrate the heating area if the hot gas is applied. Unnecessary heating shall be avoid to protect the materials (especially matrix resins) from the degradation.  


 

What is the point that we need to focus on? 

 

The first point shall be the layup on the complex shapes.
 

Many of the videos and pictures of the fiber placement instruments show that the system is pretty big.

The head size should lead to the limitation of its movement area, so smaller and thinner size head shall be preferred to the complex shape layup. And the bigger the head is, the stiffer the robot is, because the deformation of the arm should have the strong impact on the layup accuracy.

 

As the same, the compaction roller diameter is also the key because the smaller radius than the roller's size cannot be placed.

 

The second point is the slit cut of prepregs.

As you can see the photos or videos, the designed width cut tape is used for the fiber placement systems. This tape cut is actually very difficult and require the know-how. The most important point to get the accurate cut tapes is the tension control during cut process. If the wide prepreg roll is cut to the separate narrow tapes, the each tension of these cut tape should be controlled. Because the tension condition is different on each area, so the cut line will not be straight if the tension is not controlled in each tape.

 

Of course, the narrow the width is, the more difficult the cut level is. Such narrow tapes are must to place FRP tapes on the complex shapes.
 

As mentioned above, the preparation of the FRP tape slit technique should be ready prior to the fiber placement instrument installation consideration.

 

 

The keyword of " Automation " is very attractive at this moment, but we need to understand the feature and limit of the technique from the cool and proper view point.

 

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