Caleb R. Pupo

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Michel van Tooren


A novel approach for the generation of steered tow paths on curved shell surfaces is presented. The approach is used to translate optimal theoretical analysis expressed from ply to ply as fiber angle distributions for steered laminates into discrete tow paths on planar, single and double curved surfaces. By adapting the multi mesh approach earlier developed by van Tooren and Elham [1–3] to the new tow path generation code. Two meshes are utilized, a coarse mesh which is generated during the optimization and contains the optimal fiber angle distributions, and a denser mesh obtained from tessellating the surface to better follow the curvature of the 3D geometry. The coarse mesh is referred to as the manufacturing mesh (MM) and it is used to define fiber angle fields using Lagrangian interpolation applied to the nodal fiber angle values by mathematically manipulating the MM elements into isoparametric space. The dense mesh is referred to as the tessellation mesh (TM) and it is used to orthogonally project the interpolated tow paths onto the tessellated surface. The tow path planner (TPP) initiates by introducing seed points, which are the defined starting locations of tow paths. Different seed point locations yield different tow path distributions on the surface, and therefore different seed point propagation strategies are introduced in the TPP. Finally, the software is validated through the implementation of various fiber angle distributions generated by hand, and the coupling between TopSteer and the new TPP is validated through a simple 3D optimization.