Layered-Manufacturing of Fiber-Reinforced Composites

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Zak, M. N. Sela, V. Yevko, C. B. Park, B. Benhabib

Computer Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, 5 King’s College Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3G8

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 121(3), 448-456 (Aug 01, 1999) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2832702 History: Received January 01, 1998; Revised July 01, 1998; Online January 17, 2008


In this paper, we present a rapid manufacturing process for the layered fabrication of polymer-based composite parts using short discontinuous fibers as reinforcements. This process uses a UV-laser-based system for the selective solidification of the composite liquid. The primary components of the prototype are: (1) fiber-resin mixing subsystem, (2) composite-liquid deposition subsystem, (3) liquid leveling subsystem, and (4) laser-light delivery subsystem. Axiomatic Design Theory was used to validate the design selected for the experimental embodiment of the process. Extensive microscopic examination of the layered composite parts verified that the prototype system can yield comparable layer quality, in terms of accuracy and uniformity, to that of pure-resin parts made by a photopolymer-based commercial system. Furthermore, mechanical testing of these composite specimens showed up to 60 percent improvement in modulus over the unreinforced layered specimens.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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