Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware

Process Development

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Fabric Prototyping and Tow Sizing System

Funded through a DURIP grant, CCM  acquired a CCITech SL8900 Sampling Loom System (2-D Loom, Warper, Sizing Unit) for research and development of composites with custom/hybrid fabric architectures and sizings. The Loom has a weaving width of 17”, multiple weft yarns and programmable weave patterns. The Warper can produce warp beams for short runs (~3 yards) and the Sizing unit allows custom sizing runs for a single end of roving/yarn. The system enables rapid design, prototyping and evaluation of unique fabric architectures in short runs (~16” width by 3 yards in length) with all the standard high performance inorganic and organic fibers.


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Robotic Advanced Material Placement Head (AMP)

The AMP workcell is being used to conduct novel research on ATL/AFP processing. The system is designed to be flexible for research purposes, modular for multiple projects, and adaptive as new materials and processing techniques emerge. Current modules include two rollers, high-energy IR, induction and a spray bagging system. An IR camera mounted on the system is used for temperature measurement and process control.  The system can be used to evaluate processing thermoplastic and thermoset (OOA) materials as well as dry fabric and metal-matrix composites.


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Hydraulic Meter Mixer

The recently acquired hydraulic meter mixer from Graco is part of a system that allows the development of automated new manufacturing composites such as spray-on bagging. This significant acquisition allows CCM to showcase its goal of adapting and developing the newest composites processing methods.


 

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Aqueous Bath Thermoplastic Prepreg Line

This facility addresses the current need for improved processing of high-temperature thermoplastic/carbon fiber materials.


 

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Micro-scale Extrusion and Injection Molding Machine

This machine is capable of producing small batches, 15 cm3 of material, and directly molding ASTM-sized test specimens. This process is ideal for completing studies on thermoplastic nanocomposites and polymer blends.


Vacuum Infusion Processing (VIP)

UD-CCM has created an invaluable toolbox of virtual design, manufacturing, and QA/QC tools engineered to bring improved affordability and quality to liquid molding processing. The benefits of UD-CCM expertise in Vacuum Infusion Processing include: virtual design tools allow rapid prototyping development, SMARTMolding automation allows process control and QA/QC, TDR sensing enables distributed resin flow monitoring and accurate care measurements along with leverage expertise through workshops, consulting and prototyping.

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