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Additive manufacturing of thermoplastic composites

Boekbijdrage - Boekhoofdstuk Conferentiebijdrage

Ever since composite materials where first introduced, they have been pushing the boundaries of high performance, lightweight designs in all branches of engineering. The demand for sustainable lightweight structures results in an augmented use of thermoplastic composites. Depending on the type of matrix and reinforcement, there are various manufacturing options for the fabrication of composite parts. Composite manufacturing processes are in essenceadditive processes. In order to reduce the labor-intensive manual operations, and the need for a flexible automated composite process, researchers are investigating the feasibility of implementing Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques to aid the fabrication of composite parts. AM techniques are able to produce parts directly from CAD data sources. As opposed to classical subtractive fabrication methods, parts are created layer upon layer. Thegeometric freedom provided by the additive process unlocks a wide variety of designs, which would be impossible to create via subtractive methods. Furthermore, AM processes have no direct need of tooling. The flexibility of this manufacturing approach gives rise to the development of application-oriented parts. Given the flexibility of the additive process, these techniques can be used in the design and manufacturing of composite parts. There are several options for which AM can be implemented in the composite production process. This paper highlights the potential of AM in the design and manufacturing of composite parts, gives a review on the application of composite AM, and identifies the technological challenges associated with the direct production of thermoplastic AM composites.
Boek: Composites Week @ Leuven
Pagina's: 1 - 7
Jaar van publicatie:2013