TRACK 1 — SHORT COURSES
Advances and Challenges in Automated Fiber Placement (AFP)
Instructors: Ramy Harik, University of South Carolina and Sayata Ghose, The Boeing Company
Moderator: Alma Saiya
Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) is a process used to manufacture high volume large composite parts particularly in the aerospace industry. In this advanced tutorial on AFP the following topics are covered. (1) Design for manufacturing: the steps required to create a composite design manufacturable using AFP are discussed. Special attention is given to process planning, functions and strategies for both process and toolpath optimization (different layup strategies, coverage/propagation strategies, starting point optimization). (2) Manufacturing: manufacturing flowcharts and the best practices to undergo an AFP project are discussed. (3) Inspection: methods and techniques currently used in the world of AFP are reviewed, as well as other future techniques (thermography, profilometry, in-situ inspections, and automated defect identification). (4) Current and upcoming areas of research: an overview of the directions current research is focusing on for advancements in AFP such as high throughput AFP, AFP process modeling, machine learning in inspection and defect detection, data-driven AFP models, etc.
Attendees are required to watch the introductory course via NASA’s YouTube channel on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT9vlFUeAyk
Pultrusion: Technology, Commercialization, and Industrialization
Instructor - Clement Hiel, Composites Support & Solutions, Inc.
Moderator: Alma Saiya
The main objective of this presentation is to review three generations of pultrusion technology development and its associated economic impact.
The first generation (the first thirty years) started in 1954, when W. B. Goldsworthy, one of the pioneers of pultrusion technology, presented a detailed description of the automated production process and plant engineering principles to professional circles in the USA. His approach was largely employed to make polyester resin based profiles for fishing rods, ski poles, hammer handles, poles for vaulting, etc. In parallel to this, Ernst Kühne also developed the pultrusion method in the early-mid 1950‘s at the technological development laboratory of Brown Boveri in Baden (Switzerland). He succeeded in producing the first pultrusion products in which the fibers were impregnated with epoxy resin. Entrepreneurs in the U.S., Asia, and Europe, capitalized on this knowledge and pultrusion with thermoset resins became a major industry.
The second generation (the second thirty years) started in 1984, when major composite industry initiatives emerged in aircraft, space, and automotive. It was a time when NASA, and other technology developers, acquired pultrusion machines and performed some of the first studies on the pultrusion of thermoplastic composites. A family of second generation thermoset resins were specifically developed for the pultrusion process, and computer assisted pultrusion process automation became a reality. The pultrusion industry matured and its product output ranged from floor beams for aircraft, to infrastructure and construction (i.e. pultruded bridge decks), and spars for wind turbine blades.
The third generation (the third thirty years) started in 2014, and has already provided a wealth of newly developed technologies and product innovations, such as 3D printed tooling, curved pultrusion, push-pultrusion for recycling, A.I., and novel thermoset and thermoplastic resins for pultrusion. This creates economic opportunities as the global composites industry continues to industrialize and require larger and larger production volumes. Emerging pathways to industrialization are, among others, the trillion dollar worldwide infrastructure projects, climate resilience, and “Green New Deals,” which have service life requirements of 100 years and more.
In summary; what the attendees will walk away with is an appreciation for three generations of technology development that form the backbone of the global pultrusion industry. Most importantly, the attendees will acquire an appreciation for the emerging possibilities and economic opportunities of the emerging third generation pultrusion technology.