Table of contents:
- Increase process reliability of vacuum infusion processes
- Integrated sensors reduce manufacturing costs
Video: Glass Fiber Sensors Monitor The Production Of Thick-walled CFRP Structures
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:12
MT Aerospace uses CFRP booster housings to manufacture large CFRP components for use in the aerospace industry using the vacuum infusion process. In vacuum infusion, a dry-wound preform is infiltrated through resin in a vacuum bag. In the meantime, the elements are slowly rotated in an oven. Sensors monitor the flow front of the inflowing resin and thus optimize processes. For this purpose, scientists from Fraunhofer LBF work with the industrial partner to introduce glass fiber sensors into the component during winding, which then control the resin distribution in this manufacturing step.
Increase process reliability of vacuum infusion processes
Each sensor fiber contains several of the more than 60 glass fiber sensors. The flow front is the line where the resin first comes into contact with the dry fibers. For the process monitoring of the digital flow front detection, the signals from the rotating part in the furnace must be transmitted to a computer outside. There, a digital twin of the sensor position on the component shows when the flow front reaches the sensor. “For the first time, we receive transparent information in the manufacturing process of such thick-walled parts and increase the process reliability of vacuum infusion processes,” explains Martin Lehmann, research assistant at Fraunhofer LBF.
In the video, Martin Lehmann, Deputy Head of Lightweight Structures at Fraunhofer LBF, explains the Infusion 4.0 project:
The new manufacturing technology makes previously hidden processes visible and digitally controllable, which increases process reliability. The information gained through the automation of the resin flow ensures the reproducibility and quality of the new product and, if necessary, enables targeted intervention even during production. Improved control also speeds up the ramp-up - the company's competitiveness increases.
Integrated sensors reduce manufacturing costs
In addition, the new technology can enable automated control of the manufacturing process in the sense of Industry 4.0. The integrated sensors can be a structural health monitoring (Structural Health Monitoring - SHM) already from the earliest stages of the life cycle realized.
The project "Infusion 4.0 - Flow front detection in the vacuum infusion process of a CFRP booster housing with fiber-optic sensors" was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy according to the decision of the German Bundestag.