Materials Modelling and Laser Inspection for the 3D Lay-up of Dry Fiber Composite Preforms

[+] Author and Article Information
Z. Zhang

Division of Manufacturing Engineering and Industrial Management, Department of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK

M. Sarhadi

Department of M and ES, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 121(3), 466-473 (Aug 01, 1999) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2832704 History: Received June 01, 1997; Revised January 01, 1998; Online January 17, 2008


Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) is playing an ever increasing role in the manufacturing of composite components in the aerospace industry. However, the high labor and tooling costs and long manufacturing lead-times involved in the manual lay-up of dry carbon fiber preforms are obstructing the wide spread use of this technology. Recent development of Non-Crimp Fabrics (NCF) and automation technology has resulted in an automated preform manufacturing process, of which folding of materials constitutes an important step. This paper presents a mathematical model for the prediction of the 3D shapes of folded NCF sheets, a laser inspection system for the dimensional measurement of ply folds, and the integration of the two techniques for on-line monitoring of an automated preform manufacturing system.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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