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Effects of defects on laminate quality and mechanical performance in thermoplastic Automated Fiber Placement-based process chains

: Zenker, Thomas; Bruckner, Fabian; Drechsler, Klaus

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5751653 (6.7 MByte PDF)
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Created on: 7.2.2020

Advanced manufacturing: polymer & composites science : AMPCS 5 (2019), No.4, pp.184-205
ISSN: 2055-0359
ISSN: 2055-0340
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IGCV ()
Automated fiber placement; Thermoplastics; Defects; Consolidation; Mechanical testing; Stamp forming; Undulations; Digital image correlation

Automated Fiber Placement of thermoplastic unidirectional tape materials offers several advantages over conventional organosheets, such as enhanced part performance through tailored fiber architecture, and economic and ecological benefits due to scrap reduction. Because material is cut perpendicular to the feeding direction in state-of-the-art machine technology, triangular gaps and overlaps occur when geometrically complex layups are fabricated. Their effect on part properties is unknown for thermoplastic materials. This study investigates the influence of various defect configurations on laminate quality and mechanical performance for different consolidation processes. Analysis of microsections prepared from post-consolidation specimens shows out-of-plane undulations in defect areas. The undulation extent is quantified by angle and deflection. Tensile and compressive testing is performed. Gaps reduce ultimate tensile and compressive strength significantly for variothermal press and autoclave consolidation. Digital-image-correlation-based strain measurement during tensile testing shows strain concentration in the defect area for these specimens. Specimens consolidated in an isothermal stamp forming process show no comparable stress concentration, as well as no reduced ultimate strength. Specimens containing overlaps generally show a better performance in terms of ultimate strength compared to those containing gaps. Even though no full factorial design of experiments was used, the results obtained from this study can be used as a baseline for sector-boundary design strategies. The definition of defect-specific knock-down factors would be a next step towards the solid engineering of thermoplastic Automated Fiber Placement parts.