The up growing use of composites in many industrial sectors is associated, basically, to these materials high strength to weight ratio when compared to others, like aluminum for instance. However, new manufacturing technologies are required to fit composites into industrial standards for productivity and cost. The Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) is one of the new manufacturing processes that have been applied in the industry to achieve such results. This process uses a precision machine for controlled lamination of composites plies onto a mould to form the desired part. Similar to machining processes, the complexity of the machine itself and the surface to be developed requires computational software for the part design (CAD – Computer Aided Design) and for the production of each course and ply (CAM – Computer Aided Manufacturing). In this work, one sample part was designed using complex shape surface and, using the AFP process, this part was produced. The available methodologies for surface coverage generation were simulated and analyzed based on laminate quality (Gaps, Overlaps and Fiber Angle Deviation). The best method was used to produce the final part and the results from simulation and manufacturing were compared. The main objective was to evaluate the AFP as an affordable technology for the production of complex shape composite structures.
BOTTENE, A.C.; MELLO, W.L.N.de; ALMEIDA, R.Z.H.de; GOMES, P.P. Development of complex shape composite structures: an automated fiber placement application. In: CONFERENCE SAMPE BRASIL, 2012, São Paulo. Proceedings… 7p.