NOV 2018


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NEWS 27 He also describes a resin application system that differs consid- erably from a conventional resin bath. "We bring in two-part epoxy from heated tanks through heated lines and mix in a Y nozzle at the winding head, less than a foot from the part," says Vardy. "We are almost making towpreg on the fly. e tension control is actually spreading the fiber, so this is very close to ATL, but we don't apply pressure for consolidation." e current R&D unit features a 3m-diameter, 3m-long mandrel and combines functions like trimming and machining. Vardy says it will next be used to run thermoplastic tape, adding, "we can run slit prepreg tape on this filament winder and on the 3D winder." Cygnet will produce the tape in-house, as it already supplies high-speed prepreg slitters to the industry. 3D printed cores for 3D winding CIKONI has an interest in hybridized filament winding, which came through its founders. Farbod Nezami had modified FW to build grippers and truss parts for assembly robots at Daimler, while Diego Schierle was using it to build tailored, high-performance pressure vessels for cars at the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) Institute for Vehicle Concepts (Stuttgart). Although CIKONI provides design and engineering services across the spectrum of composite materials and processes, it has already sold two customized winding cells for development work at German automo- tive suppliers and is close to finalizing a contract for its first automotive produc- tion machine. Nezami says 3D winding has proven to be a particularly good solution for the manufacture of robot grippers because they are specialized, yet need to be light- weight. "Because each gripper is different, only one or two of each kind is made, which makes tooling cost-prohibitive," he explains. "We can 3D print a polymer T-mandrel with pins, and then 3D wind carbon fiber wet out with room-temper- ature cure epoxy resin around these pins [Fig. 4, p. 26]." e core and pins can remain in the part, or be melted/ washed out. If the part has high compres- sion loads, the core can be 3D printed metal, which Nezami says, "enables a very interesting hybrid design. We use finite element analysis [FEA] to identify areas of tension and compression, which guides which materials and hybridization strategy we choose." Generative 3D winding e aforementioned development work on grippers at Daimler has led to a new, potentially revolutionary, coreless 3D winding technology for the manufacture of production robot parts and automotive parts. Referred to as FibreTEC3D, the Daimler technology involves two cooperative robots, one that holds and manipulates an aluminum tooling plate with pins protruding from the surface, and one that wet winds carbon fiber around the pins (Fig. 5, p. 28). Daimler assembly process engineer Niklas Minsch calls these pins deviation points because they deviate the fiber path, which forms the composite structure. Filament Winding, Reinvented

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