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Compaction of fibres in composite material layup Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238281D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-14
Document File: 1 page(s) / 94K

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In the manufacture of composite laminated components such as wind turbine blades a vibrating head is used to effect compaction of fibre materials in the layup either after deposition or as part of the fibre placement in order to remove trapped air and decrease the incidence of voids in the final material.

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Compaction of fibres in composite material layup

In the production of fibre-based composite laminate structures such as those used in wind turbine blades it is recognised that the presence of void inclusions has a deleterious effect on the finished article. Such laminates are typically formed by layup of fibre materials in a mould, most commonly glass fibre and/or carbon fibre plies which are stacked in the mould. These may be pre-impregnated with resin in the case of so-called pre-preg or may be laid up without resin, and the resin supplied for example under vacuum in a resin transfer process or similar process. The laid up material is then heated to effect curing to produce the finished article or component.

The voids represent regions devoid of resin or fibre, which thereby mean the surrounding material has low strength compared to a void-free material.

It is proposed in order to mitigate the formation of such voids to effect a compaction of the material as it being laid up. This compaction reduces the volume of air therein which must escape or be displaced, and allows the resin to better permeate the laminate.

Compaction can be effected by use of a vibrating head which moves over the material laid up in the mould. This may be by a dedicated tool which is passed over the mould where the materials have previously been laid up, for example laid up by hand. Alternatively, where a machine is used in the layup for example an automated fibre placement tool, the vib...