JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 49

The drive to reduce composite part production cycle times has led to a growing interest in out-ofautoclave processing, which offers the opportunity to maintain part quality while significantly reducing capital investment. The unique architecture of reconfigurable tools, which are effective assemblies of discrete square elements, enables the creation of tool surfaces with multiple heating and cooling zones which can each be rapidly cycled to locally moderate and accelerate cure. This significantly increases process control and allows real-time and even predictive control of complex structural part cure profiles without autoclaves.

By

mould

Processing technology for the rapid production of advanced composites
extended to cope with a significant inter-part variance. Consequently, cycle times are longer than necessary and parts from the same run variable. For thermoplastics, processing often involves the stamping / forming of parts from preconsolidated laminates, which limits applications and part complexity and requires a capital-intensive facility. Other thermoplastic processing methods are limited by the ability to heat and cool the tool rapidly, yet maintain adequate thermal control, which hinders their greater uptake as a class of material.

Background
With the increasing emphasis on whole-life carbon footprints, manufacturers of ground and air transportation are striving to reduce weight to meet performance, cost and emission targets. This has created the ideal market conditions for the widespread uptake of metallic and polymeric composites, which have long had the potential to usurp traditional monolithic structures but have been hindered by supply, processing and cost limitations. Thermoplastics processing is a typical case where processors’ inability to rapidly cycle these materials (i.e. acceptable floor-to-floor or Takt times) and to accurately control the thermal profile (i.e. crystallinity) in an economic manner has been a key limiting factor. Many studies have been undertaken on the processing of PEEK materials, analysing the effect of heating and cooling rates on the degree of crystallinity and the subsequent physical and mechanical properties of these parts1, 2. High levels of crystallinity in PEEK lead to increased chemical resistance, wear and thermal performance as well as strength, whilst low crystallinity results in greater transparency, ductility and elongation.

ANDREW SHARPE, EUROPEAN TECHNICAL SALES, BEN HALFORD, CEO, ALI NOTT, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, SURFACE GENERATION

T

his paper discusses the results of heating and cooling trials with thermoset and thermoplastic matrix reinforced materials and assesses the impact of high ramp rates (400°C in 4 minutes) combined with tight tool temperature control (±2.5°C across the face) with the aim of enabling processers to achieve significantly optimised cycle times. In any manufacturing environment, secondary indirect processes are undesirable as they add time and expense to the production cycle. In the case of fibre-reinforced composites, energy-intensive and slow autoclave cure cycles are often

Approach

By using the unique architecture of reconfigurable tools, which are essentially assemblies of discrete metallic elements, a process engineering approach can be taken from the outset of tool design bringing substantial benefits. This ‘pixilated’ construction philosophy allows the addition of multiple heating and cooling zones which can each be rapidly cycled to locally moderate or accelerate cure. This significantly increases energy efficiency and process control and allows real-time and fully-traceable control of complex structure cure profiles. These advanced control systems allow the manufacture of next-generation Invar moulds. They also permit processing of

No64 April 2011 / jec composites magazine

49

Research & development



JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011

Cover
Edito
Point of view: fast expansion
Contents
Agenda of Events
COMPANY & BUSINESS
In Brief
Reinforcement - Red Composites: a real expertise in carbon fibre
Housing - Housetec: a young company with a background of 40 years’ experience
Asia - Hua Dong Fibreglass, an SME that exports worldwide
APPLICATIONS
Construction - Creative eye-catching design for a new Sheraton hotel
Marine - Multiplast builds the Groupama V070
Awards - ICERP-JEC Innovation Awards Programme 2011: eight companies rewarded
MARKET
Human capital - Latest appointments
Sports and Leisure - Rossignol Group: innovation and performance in winter skis applications
FEATURE WIND ENERGY
Reinforcement - WebCore Technologies: great ambitions in the wind industry
New rovings for wind turbine blade applications
Prepreg spar caps: a solution for today
Software - Industrial software for manufacturing large components such as wind blades
Leveraging an end-to-end solution for composite wind turbine blades
Laser placement - Manufacturing rotor blades with highest precision while reducing costs
Automation - A fully-automated manufacturing process for wind blades
Maintenance - An innovative, certified blade repair system
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Testing - Using nano-scratch testing to detec composite failure
Mould - Processing technology for the rapid production of advanced composites
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATIONS
Robot - Robotic fibre placement machine helps reduce energy consumption
Process - A new industrialized construction process for transport infrastructures
Fibre placement - Tape laying and fibre palcement: complementary solutions
NDT - What’s new in non-destructive testing labs?
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Point of view: fast expansion
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Agenda of Events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - In Brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Reinforcement - Red Composites: a real expertise in carbon fibre
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Housing - Housetec: a young company with a background of 40 years’ experience
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Asia - Hua Dong Fibreglass, an SME that exports worldwide
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Construction - Creative eye-catching design for a new Sheraton hotel
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Marine - Multiplast builds the Groupama V070
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Awards - ICERP-JEC Innovation Awards Programme 2011: eight companies rewarded
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Human capital - Latest appointments
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Sports and Leisure - Rossignol Group: innovation and performance in winter skis applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Reinforcement - WebCore Technologies: great ambitions in the wind industry
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - New rovings for wind turbine blade applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Prepreg spar caps: a solution for today
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Software - Industrial software for manufacturing large components such as wind blades
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Leveraging an end-to-end solution for composite wind turbine blades
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Laser placement - Manufacturing rotor blades with highest precision while reducing costs
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Automation - A fully-automated manufacturing process for wind blades
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Maintenance - An innovative, certified blade repair system
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 44
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Testing - Using nano-scratch testing to detec composite failure
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Mould - Processing technology for the rapid production of advanced composites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Robot - Robotic fibre placement machine helps reduce energy consumption
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Process - A new industrialized construction process for transport infrastructures
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - Fibre placement - Tape laying and fibre palcement: complementary solutions
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - NDT - What’s new in non-destructive testing labs?
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 62
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 66
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #64 - April 2011 - 68
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