Title: Feasibility of a concept out-of-autoclave carbon fibre reinforced polymer part manufacturing process

Authors: Tom Taylor; Jun Yanagimoto

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Abstract: Feasibility of a concept out-of-autoclave carbon fibre reinforced (thermoset) polymer (CFRP) part manufacturing process, in which hot forming and curing of prepreg are integrated in one step, was demonstrated. Optimal forming-temperature, dwell-temperature and/or dwell-time with respect to formability, springback and mechanical properties of the formed part were determined for two representative laminate thicknesses of 0.3 and 0.5 mm by V-bend part forming followed by macroscopic observation, Scanning Electron Microscopy and flexural testing of formed parts. Benchmarking against parts manufactured by the traditional autoclave-process demonstrated feasibility of the concept process for manufacturing high-quality parts, principally for lightweight structural automotive engineering applications. Compared to Resin Transfer Moulding, considered the industry benchmark Out-of-Autoclave process, opportunity for reduced manufacturing time to within 300 s per part and through a much more simple process for reduced lead-time, reduced financial cost and greater environmental sustainability, was highlighted.

Keywords: carbon fibre reinforced polymer; thermoset; composite; part manufacturing; formability; springback; flexural properties; prepreg; automotive lightweighting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUTOC.2019.10023716

International Journal of Automotive Composites, 2019 Vol.4 No.2, pp.137 - 166

Received: 01 May 2019
Accepted: 21 Jun 2019

Published online: 05 Sep 2019 *

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