WP13 – LAAM.Composite

WP13 – LAAM.Composite

Large-sized composite material parts present challenges in their design and manufacturing by traditional means.

a) Common methods for manufacturing large composite parts require the use of molds, which represents an unaffordable cost for small production runs. These molds, usually made of metal, result from machining large blocks of material to obtain the desired surface for producing parts. This problem can be solved by the benefits of additive manufacturing due to its versatility and flexibility in terms of various geometries to be manufactured, minimizing the amount of used material and the machining needs.

b) The reuse of composite materials poses a difficult problem for existing recycling methods. Generally, due to the scarcity of solutions for reuse, these materials end up in landfills or are incinerated for energy. Aiming for a progressive ecological transition, this project envisages the integration of recycling units capable of obtaining end-of-life composite fibers and reintegrating them into the manufacture of new products through additive manufacturing.

c) Additive manufacturing processes generate certain features in finished parts that can result in low dimensional accuracy and incompatibility with the final application. So there is a challenge and need to develop monitoring strategies and systems with closed-loop control. This type of systems analyzes deviations occurring during the process in relation to the intended final part, generating inputs for the deposition process in order to mitigate these deviations, thus reaching a viable geometry of the final product.

d) The deposition of thermoplastics/composites requires high volumes of support material. This issue can be seen in additive manufacturing processes in small printers, and the problem escalates even more in LAAM. Therefore, there is a need to solve the problem of resorting to high volumes of support material for large parts. This creates the opportunity to develop a method/system to reduce the need for support materials, applying the concept of pinbed forming. The development of a pinbed with independent actuators enables printing on a non-planar surface, thus allowing to follow the geometry of the part in its vertical axis and reducing the need for supports for overhang geometries.

e) The deposition of thermoplastics and short fiber composites does not result in appropriate mechanical properties for parts subjected to heavy loads. This project addresses the need for the production of high-performance components, aiming to develop a deposition head for continuous fibers. This type of process enables the manufacture of thinner parts with improved mechanical properties compared to short fiber or thermoplastic options.

Related Products, Processes and Services (PPS)

Involved Entities

Inov.AM - Inovação em Fabricação Aditiva

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