An Integrated Numerical Modeling of the LAFP Process Towards in-situ Consolidation

2021-2022 Summer
Faculty Department of Project Supervisor: 
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Number of Students: 

Integrated numerical modeling of the LAFP process towards in-situ consolidation
The Composite 4.0 approach aims to eliminate the dependence of the aerospace industry on prepreg and autoclave processes and minimize faulty productions caused by human errors. The Automated Fiber Placement process (AFP) has the greatest potential to evolve into Composite 4.0 due to its advantages such as high production speed, complex and large part production, increase in part quality, and variable-performance part design depending on the direction with fiber laying angles, in addition to its suitability for automation. It is a high production method. However, for AFP to reach its potential, interdisciplinary perspectives covering the constraints of production technology evolution, manufacturers and suppliers must be brought together.
What is expected from AFP processes is not only the transition to digital production but also the ability to respond to thermoplastic (TP) matrix composite solutions that eliminate the disadvantages of thermoset resins and allow recycling. The biggest problem in TP processes is that successful fusion bonding of the layers is not completed during AFP laying and a secondary process is needed (hot pressing). Laser-assisted AFP (LAFP) is a configuration that offers the potential to eliminate secondary processes and enables production with in-situ consolidation. However, the success of in-site consolidation still contains critical questions that await solutions for the aviation industry, despite nearly 30 years of research.
The scope of the project is developing a numerical solution for an integrated process model of the AFP lay-up process, which includes the effects of the multi-phase flow, heat transfer, and consolidation parameters, consisting of resin and voids, in the composite structure, within the limit of maximum allowable of void content of 1% by volume. In order to achieve this goal, the goals listed below will be followed.
a. Build a mathematical model library that builds on the flow, heat, and consolidation physics of the process and is supported by extensive material data obtained from literature as input.
b. Performing the numerical solution of the mathematical model under appropriate boundary conditions and using it in simulation studies.
c. Developing process windowing for flat plate geometries that provides a maximum void content of 1% based on process temperature, compression force, and lay-up speed. Experimental validation of the process window results will be a future project.

Related Areas of Project: 
Materials Science ve Nano Engineering
Mechatronics Engineering

About Project Supervisors

Hatice S. Sas
Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Research and Application Center