TECHNIQUE TO INFUSE RESIN INTO CARBON FIBER
Publication Date: 2015-May-06
The IP.com Prior Art Database
The disclosed invention provides a technique to infuse epoxy resin into carbon fibers. The technique includes a system that improvises the conventional epoxy resin infusion system. The system includes a pair of motor driven rollers, an infusion device, an epoxy resin supply port, and a fiber tow. The rollers are counter rotating infusion rollers that are driven by a servo motor with belt drive. The infusion system also includes a rotary axis with a mandrel or a tool. Carbon fibers are wound on the mandrel. The carbon fibers pass through the infusion device and epoxy resin is added to the fiber tows. The rollers include an epoxy resin supply port. A matrix of resin feed holes is configured around entire circumference of the roller. The epoxy resin supply port allows resin to be infused while the fiber tows are in motion over the counter rotating rollers. The motor driven counter-rotating rollers are used to perform two sided infusion.
The present invention relates generally to a composite structure and more particularly to a technique to infuse epoxy resin into carbon fibers to form the composite structure.
Generally, composite structures are used in several applications, such as, aerospace, wind energy and other industrial sectors. The composite structures include carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). CFRP includes various carbon fibers and thermosetting resins. There are two main types of technologies utilized for manufacturing CFRP airframe components. One of them is prepreg technology and the other is infusion technology. Both of these technologies have different inherent specific characteristics linked to type of matrix used. Infusion technologies are more cost-efficient, however, numerous applications, such as, component areas are prone to impact damage. For prepreg manufacturing, preimpregnated semi-finished products are used, that includes a carbon fiber reinforcement impregnated with a resin. Such a composition exhibits a relatively high viscosity at ambient temperature. Prepreg resins may contain additional substances than only epoxies or hardeners. The additional substances increase toughness of cured matrix resins. However, prepreg technology is not cost effective means of forming composite structure for a lot of applications.
In a conventional technique a combined prepeg and infusion processing technology is disclosed for manufacturing carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) airframe components. Such a hybrid process is known as combined prepreg and infusion (CPI). In the hybrid process, the composite part is produced in an infusion process, whereas, critical areas of the composite part are still made of prepreg material that is placed in the infusion mould prior to resin injection.
Another conventional technique employs automatic triaxial braiding process along with automation vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process and smart molding control technology for wind blade manufacturing.
However, the above mentioned conventional techniques are not cost effective.
It would be desirable to have a cost effective and efficient technique to infuse resin in carbon fibers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
Figure 1 depicts configuration of motor driven rollers.
Figure 2 depicts two sided infusion zone on fiber tows using the epoxy resin feed port.
Figure 3 depicts epoxy resin supply port configuration inside a roller and resin flow mechanism on the fiber tows.
The disclosed invention provides a technique to infuse epoxy resin into carbon fibers. The technique includes a system that improvises the conventional epoxy resin infusion system. The system includes, a pair of motor driven rollers, an infusion device mounted on a multi gantry positioning system, an epoxy resin supply port, and a fiber tow. The rollers are counter rotating infusion rollers that are driven by a servo motor with b...