The influence of the tape placement process on part characteristics based on different Ud-tape qualities
From a production engineering perspective, the freedom of design with composite materials offers an interesting possibility of product customization. A part can be structurally optimized by the right choices of materials and layups resulting in efficient weight and process time reduction. In addition, production technologies can influence the mechanical properties of the final part. The additive behavior of processing composites results in a higher risk of defects. This paper investigates how a production technology can enhance the status-quo characteristics of a semi-finished composite product. Up to three different qualities of unidirectional (UD) glass fiber reinforced polypropylene tape are processed with the laser-assisted automated tape placement process at the Fraunhofer IPT. By conducting three point bending tests the specimens' mechanical characteristics are evaluated. Microsections give an insight into the consolidation behavior after processing. The study shows that different qualities of thermoplastic UD-tapes can be adjusted to the needs of the final part after the automated tape placement process. It demonstrates how a process can be adapted dependent on the requirements of the final part and on the incoming semi-finished product.