Robust Fiber-Placement Systems for Aerospace Structures

To ensure aviation’s high-capability and efficiency, the (further) development and optimization of production processes, which increase the use of light-weight structures and thus contribute to an environmentally friendly air transport system, is of crucial importance. The ROBUFIL project contributes with the development of a manufacturing facility and related technologies for the automated production of CFRP structures by combining Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) and Automated Tape Laying (ATL) in one component as well as fiber placement with different carbon fiber fabrics. The overall objective of the project is to optimize the processess of fiber placement and tape laying, with a focus on a robust fiber placement process. The Institute of Polymer Materials and Plastics Engineering is particularly working with the material and demonstator design.

At first, a base epoxy resin material is examined. Based on the results of this examination either a bonded dry-tape or a thermoplastic prepreg is examined. A deeper analysis of the starting material and of the laminate resulting form the laying-process with focus on the process parameters allows to determine a practicable model for the process and to optimize the lay-up times. The analysis espcially focuses on the interation of the temperature (heating method and rate) and thus the viscosity of the matrix and the compaction behavior of the material as well as the interaction of the carbon fiber fabric with the surfaces of the conveying system. Additionally, withing the framework of these tests, design methods for components produced in this process are to be developed and evaluated, thus supprting the efficient production of aeronautical components. The technology demonstration at the end of the project aims at transferring the  knowledge establisehd in the laboratory to the fiber-placement system by examinating the influence of the process parameters on the laminate quality directly at the plant.

The ROBUFIL project is a cooperation of the Institute of Polymer Materials and Plastics Engineering at the Clausthal University of Technology, Brötje Automation Composites GmbH and SWMS Systemtechnik Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH and is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

Funding: Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy(BMWi)

Duration: 2016-2018


Dr. Carsten Schmidt