Robotic Layup of Woven Prepreg Composites


Date Recorded: Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Hosts: Branson Brockschmidt
Duration:  1:00:40


In this webinar you will learn about the results from SwRI's internal research and development work on Composite layup as well as work with other collaborators in the industry.

Branson Brockschmidt, an SwRI research engineer, shares his experience in developing robotic solutions for composite layup and where this technology is headed in the future.

In the past two decades, composites have increasingly displaced aluminum as the structural material of choice in the aerospace industry. Previously considered an exotic material confined to high performance military aircrafts, composites are now widely used in the civilian sector – the composite airframes of the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 being excellent examples.

While the exceptional strength to weight characteristics of composites make them ideal for aerospace components, manufacturing and material handling challenges drive up cost. Part of the reason for high cost is traditional automated manufacturing technologies such as automated tape laying (ATL) and automated fiber placement (ATP) have been unable to solve the problem of prepreg composite sheet layup; prepreg sheets are woven fabrics, such as carbon fiber, pre-impregnated with resin. Recent developments by SwRI in both hardware and software have shown robotic layup of these prepreg sheets are possible.

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