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Automated Manufacturing of Composites

Friday, February 17, 2017, 2:00 PM - NaN:NaN AM
Woolf Hall 402

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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Seminar

Automated Manufacturing of Composites

Suong Van Hoa, Ph.D.
Concordia Center for Composites
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Concordia University

Abstract: As composite materials are used more and more in many applications, particularly in aircraft structures, the need for automated manufacturing of composites becomes more and more evident. Traditional method of manufacturing aircraft composites structure such as Hand Lay Up has many shortcomings such as uncertainty in repeatability, slow rate of material deposition, large amount of material waste, and limited suitability to manufacture large structures. Such method is being replaced by automation techniques. Two currently used techniques for automated composite manufacturing are Automated Tape Lay Up (ATL) and Automated Fiber placement (AFP). ATL lays down wide tapes and is mainly used for manufacturing thermoset matrix composites. AFP utilizes narrower tows, but can also handle multiple tows. AFP can process both thermoset matrix composites and thermoplastic matrix composites. While there are many attractive characteristics with the automated composites manufacturing, there are many issues that need to be addressed. These are the high cost of the machine, and the existence of laps/gaps that occur due to the use of narrow strips of composites during the lay down process. In addition there is a need to be able to efficiently detect defects which may occur during the process. Apart from the advantages and issues associated with the automation of composite manufacturing, there is a side benefit of using automated composite manufacturing. There are unique composite structures that can only be made using automated manufacturing techniques. These structures have unique properties.

Bio: Suong Van Hoa is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Initially from Vietnam, he obtained his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, San Luis Obispo in 1971. He then moved to Canada and obtained his MASc. and Ph.D, both in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Toronto in 1973 and 1976, respectively. Hoa joined Concordia University in 1977 and started working on composites in 1979. He has worked on many industrially related composite projects with companies such as Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd., Bombardier Aerospace, and Pratt & Whitney Canada. He has published more than 500 articles in scientific journals and conferences. He is author of the textbook “Principles of the Manufacturing of Composites”, which is now in its second edition. He is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Institute of Canada, and the American Society for Composites.

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