Fabric steering technology for variable stiffness panels: manufacture and mechanical testing

Xiao, Z. and Harrison, P. (2021) Fabric steering technology for variable stiffness panels: manufacture and mechanical testing. Composites Part B: Engineering, 223, 109105. (doi: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2021.109105)

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A novel low-cost manufacturing process is introduced, referred to as ‘Fabric Steering’. By manipulating biaxial fabrics, curvilinear fibre paths can be created to manufacture variable stiffness panels, similar to those produced using Automated Fibre Placement [1]. With low equipment costs and the capability to steer multiple-layers of fabrics simultaneously, this technique potentially offers faster production rates and lower manufacturing costs compared to Automated Fibre Placement. A computer aided engineering tool, SteerFab [2,3], is used to guide the design and manufacture process by predicting: (a) the optimum 2D fibre paths, (b) the subsequent mechanical behaviour of the resulting variable stiffness panel (including improvements in buckling resistance and strength) and (c) step-by-step manufacturing instructions. Compared to conventional quasi-isotropic straight-fibre laminates, experimental buckling tests show slightly heavier (by 4.6%) steered-fibre laminates achieve improvements of ~9% and ~17% in buckling resistance load and failure load, findings that fit well with numerical predictions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Xiao, Dr Zhaofei and Harrison, Dr Philip
Creator Roles:
Xiao, Z.Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Data curation, Writing – original draft, Visualization
Harrison, P.Conceptualization, Software, Resources, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Xiao, Z., and Harrison, P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Composites Part B: Engineering
ISSN (Online):1879-1069
Published Online:30 June 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Composites Part B: Engineering 223: 109105
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3001812-D Forming of Low-Cost Steered-Fibre LaminatesPhilip HarrisonEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P021573/1ENG - Systems Power & Energy