Research Papers

Innovative Tape Placement Robotic Cell: High Flexibility System to Manufacture Composite Structural Parts With Variable Thickness

[+] Author and Article Information
L. Sorrentino

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Cassino, Cassino 03043, Italysorrentino@unicas.it

L. Carrino, L. Tersigni

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Cassino, Cassino 03043, Italy

A. Leone

AgustaWestland, Aerospace Composites Center, Anagni 03012, Italy

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 131(4), 041002 (Jul 07, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3160594 History: Received February 28, 2008; Revised April 30, 2009; Published July 07, 2009

Until today, there are only automated processes able to manufacture composite components with a constant thickness. This work focuses on the need to find a system able to manufacture composite structural parts characterized by a variable thickness. An innovative tape placement robotic cell composed of a deposition integrated system and an anthropomorphic robot with 6DOF is shown in this work. The main characteristics of the designed deposition integrated system are (i) alternate deposition movement, (ii) tape compaction system, and (iii) tape tension control system by proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers. With these systems, it is possible to obtain a high flexibility robotic cell that allows to manufacture variable thickness components with good mechanical volumetric properties. After the design phase, the system has been realized and afterwards it has been validated by analyzing the experimental tests with the quality of some benchmark manufactured by the innovative cell.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Example of composite structural components with variable thickness

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Figure 2

Tape deposition path to manufacture a component with variable thickness

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Figure 3

(a) and (b) Deposition integrated system: (A) film recovery system, (B) clutch, (C) belt drive, (D) tape feed system, (E) braking system, and (F) deposition/compactness roller; (c) and (d) detail of the kinematic mechanism of deposition/compactness roller: (M), (I)=deposition directions and (N), (L)=roller work direction

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Figure 4

Gear ratio trend versus time

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Figure 5

Film angular velocity trend versus gear ratio: λ=λ∗=1.8, λ=1, and λ=λi(t)

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Figure 6

(a) Forces acting on the spools layout: Ms=λMy and F(ϑt,f)=My/rf(ϑt,f); (b) tape tension versus unrolling angle of tape/film spool

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Figure 7

(a) Scheme of tape tension control system: (A) disk brake, (B) proportional pressure regulators, and (C) load cell and guide reel tape; (b) tape tension trend versus unrolling angle (Tn=nominal tension, T=actual tension without feedback control system)

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Figure 8

Configurations of flange to assembly system-robot (A) and (B)

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Figure 9

(a) and (b) Loads and load directions as a function of two configuration of assembly system-robot: (A) tape feed system, (B) weight of film recovery system, (C) and (D) pneumatic driven compressing system loads, and (E) assembly flange.

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Figure 10

Deposition integrated system designed

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Figure 11

Frame configurations: (a) initial system and (b) optimized system (dB2<dB1)

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Figure 12

The innovative tape placement robotic cell: (a) anthropomorphic robot, (b) deposition integrated system, and (c) deposition die

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Figure 13

Deposition integrated system: (a) front view and (b) back view

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Figure 15

Deposition die and the selected benchmark (the unit is in millimeters)

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Figure 16

Change in deposition direction: (a) the first roll (related to the direction 1) comes back and (b) both the rollers are inside the tool—the second roll (related to the direction 2) comes out

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Figure 17

Alternate deposition sequence to manufacture the selected benchmark

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Figure 18

The component after the deposition process




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