An investigation into the manufacturing of complex, three-dimensional components using continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites
Mashau, Shivasi Christopher
This research looks into the manufacturing process of complex geometries using continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP). The purpose of this work was to develop methods that will enable the production of defect free complex components. This was achieved by investigating the key process parameters in the CFRTP manufacturing process, and optimizing them in order to improve the quality of components. The investi- gations were performed with the aid of software making use of the finite element method, and this was found to be instrumental in predicting the formability of geometries. The re- search showed that the formability of complex geometry is largely determined by the ability of the laminate to be draped into the required geometry. The forming mechanisms that take place during the draping process can be linked to the formation of defects where draping is unsuccessful. The study also showed that the quality of the drape can be influenced by blank and tool design factors. It was also shown that the blank can be manipulated using a restraint mechanism to improve the formability of geometries. The effect of processing parameters such as forming speed, forming pressure and tool temperature were also investigated. The research resulted in the formulation of guidelines to follow when manufacturing CFRTP components. The developments that were made were successfully implemented to improve the formability of a complex component that had previously been difficult to form without defects.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Engineering. Johannesburg, October 2017
Mashau, Shivasi Christopher (2017) An investigation into the manufacturing of complex, three-dimensional components using continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites, University of the Witwatersrand, <https://hdl.handle.net/10539/24191>