Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

First Advisor

Ramy Harik

Abstract

Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) is a composite manufacturing technique utilizing a robotic or gantry-based system and an attached fiber placement head to lay a prescribed number of strips of composite material, additively forming large composite structures. This technique has enabled increased throughput with increased accuracy and reliability when compared with prior composite manufacturing methods. However, even with the current state-of-the-art AFP process which employs advanced computer simulations and complex robotic operations, the data from various levels of the manufacturing lifecycle is isolated. This results in an incoherent system between the initial design phase and final part completion with limited ability to progressively enhance the design. This thesis aims to begin the integration of data across multiple product lifecycle levels with the creation of a tool to incorporate process planning into the design for manufacturing cycle while also establishing a connection between the simulation environment and reality with a digital twin (DT). These tools enable a manufacturing informed design by analyzing prior, expected, and actual manufacturing data. To demonstrate the benefits of such an integration, an in-depth parametric study of a strut and airfoil shape is used.

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