9 July 1999 Magnetostrictive pressure device for thermoplastic fiber placement process
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Fiber reinforced composites offer excellent specific stiffness and strength and are therefore interesting for rotating machinery applications. The main disadvantage of high performance composites is the manufacturing process which is labor intensive and thus slow and expensive. The Thermoplastic Fiber Placement process overcomes these difficulties due to its high degree of automation. During the process, an impregnated tape is heated up and then consolidated in-situ under pressure. The process which is used at ABB consists of a six axis robot, a heat source and a pressure device for consolidation. Today mechanical roller element are used to apply the forces normal to the surface to the composite part. These forces are necessary for proper consolidation. The roller action prevents damage due to shearing of the tape during lay down. To improve the processing sped, and to expand the use of the Thermoplastic Fiber Placement process for more complex structures, two severe drawbacks of the solid roller approach need to be overcome; the small pressure contact area which limits the speed of the process and the poor conformability which prevents the process from being applied to highly 3D surfaces. Smart materials such as piezoelectrics, electrostrictives and magnetostrictives can produce high forces at high operating frequencies and enable a large, conformable actuated surface to be realized. A pressure device made with a magnetostrictive actuator has been tested. The main design goal is to apply the consolidation pressure correctly, without introducing shear forces on the tape, in order to produce parts with optimal mechanical properties.
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Markus Ahrens, Markus Ahrens, Vishal Mallick, Vishal Mallick, } "Magnetostrictive pressure device for thermoplastic fiber placement process", Proc. SPIE 3674, Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (9 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.351566; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.351566

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