Research Papers

Automated Composite Fabric Layup for Wind Turbine Blades

[+] Author and Article Information
Siqi Zhu

The Wind Energy Manufacturing Laboratory,
Department of Industrial and
Manufacturing Systems Engineering,
Iowa State University,
Ames, IA 50010
e-mail: drsiqizhu@gmail.com

Corey J. Magnussen

TPI Composites, Inc.,
8501 N. Scottsdale Rd.,
Gainey Center II, Suite 100,
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
e-mail: CMagnussen@tpicomposites.com

Emily L. Judd

Department of Climate and
Space Sciences and Engineering,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
e-mail: emily.l.judd@gmail.com

Matthew C. Frank

Associate Professor
Department of Industrial and
Manufacturing Systems Engineering,
Iowa State University,
Ames, IA 50010
e-mail: mfrank@iastate.edu

Frank E. Peters

Associate Professor
Department of Industrial and
Manufacturing Systems Engineering,
Iowa State University,
Ames, IA 50010
e-mail: fpeters@iastate.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received June 19, 2016; final manuscript received October 7, 2016; published online January 11, 2017. Editor: Y. Lawrence Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 139(6), 061001 (Jan 11, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: MANU-16-1342; doi: 10.1115/1.4035004 History: Received June 19, 2016; Revised October 07, 2016

This work presents an automated fabric layup solution based on a new method to deform fiberglass fabric, referred to as shifting, for the layup of noncrimp fabric (NCF) plies. The shifting method is intended for fabric with tows only in 0 deg (warp) and 90 deg (weft) directions, where the fabric is sequentially constrained and then rotated through a deformation angle to approximate curvature. Shifting is conducted in a two-dimensional (2D) plane, making the process easy to control and automate, but can be applied for fabric placement in three-dimensional (3D) models, either directly or after a ply kitting process and then manually placed. Preliminary tests have been conducted to evaluate the physical plausibility of the shifting method. Layup tests show that shifting can deposit fabric accurately and repeatedly while avoiding out-of-plane deformation.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Textiles , Machinery , Blades
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Fig. 1

Shifting process on a unit section of fabric

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Fig. 2

(a) Steering—schematic and actual and (b) shifting—schematic and actual

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Fig. 3

Guide curve and tolerance zones

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Fig. 4

(a) Starting position and (b) fabric variables

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Fig. 5

Path calculation for Tji+1

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Fig. 6

Prototype fabric shifting machine

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Fig. 7

Fabric before (left) and after (right) shifting

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Fig. 8

Working procedure of the shifting machine

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Fig. 9

Mesoscale observation on the shifted fabric

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Fig. 10

The shape of test coupons

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Fig. 11

The effect of discrete shift quantity on fatigue life

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Fig. 12

Two-dimensional sample layout

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Fig. 13

The measurement coordinate system

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Fig. 14

Prescribed and actual position of the shifted fabric in a 2D coordinate system

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Fig. 15

Average position deviation of each section and radius

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Fig. 16

Effect of over-shifting

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Fig. 17

Average positional deviation for over-shifted versus non-over-shifted samples

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Fig. 18

CAD model of trailing edge prefabrication mold

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Fig. 19

Measurement of fabric position along the mold




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