Title: Laser cutting of carbon fibre preforms: influence on handling, drape and infusion

Authors: Dirk Herzog; Matthias Schmidt-Lehr; Marten Canisius; Max Oberlander; Claus Emmelmann

Addresses: Institute of Laser and System Technologies, Hamburg University of Technology, Denickestr. 17, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany ' LZN Laser Zentrum Nord GmbH, Am Schleusengraben 14, D-21029 Hamburg, Germany ' Institute of Laser and System Technologies, Hamburg University of Technology, Denickestr. 17, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany ' Institute of Laser and System Technologies, Hamburg University of Technology, Denickestr. 17, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany ' LZN Laser Zentrum Nord GmbH, Am Schleusengraben 14, D-21029 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: Carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts have become an option for mass production in the automotive industry. This is due to the fact that five-digit production volumes are now feasible with state-of-the-art production technology. Automation and reduction of production steps are however still needed. Production of CFRP parts includes a number of steps, such as preform manufacture, preform trimming, infusion of matrix, and final trimming of the cured laminate. Cutting and trimming operations are time and cost consuming. Therefore, laser cutting is investigated in this paper as an alternative cutting method for preforms. The key parameters have been studied in terms of their influence on handling, drape, and infusion characteristics. When the laser cut specimens were infused with vacuum infusion and resin transfer moulding processes, no limitation was found either, and the method was successfully applied to a mobile home door as a rather complex, large-sized 3D demonstrator.

Keywords: CFRP components; carbon fibre reinforced plastics; drape; handling; vacuum infusion; laser cutting; remote cutting; resin transfer moulding; RTM; carbon fibre preforms; mobile home doors; mobile homes; composites.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUTOC.2016.082067

International Journal of Automotive Composites, 2016 Vol.2 No.2, pp.97 - 112

Available online: 06 Feb 2017 *

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