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  • 23-Mar-2012 04:46 EDT

Prepreg Slit Tape and Fiber Placement: Developing High Performance Material Delivery Systems for High-Output AFP Lines

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Presented by: Dan Ott Web Industries Director, Business Development, Advanced Composites Market With the growth of Fiber Placement technology as a preferred automation technology in aerospace manufacturing and the rapid growth of new production line installations, it is crucial to provide material in a form which meets all necessary specifications and supports the optimum productivity available from this major capital investment made by the producer of the parts. Achieving these goals happnes when the part designer, AFP machine builder, and the slit tape producer design the best process and format which provides smooth, efficient and rapid delivery of the prepreg slit tape to the Fiber Placement laydown head. Tape size (width), slit width tolerance, spool shape and size, density of prepreg on the spool, spool change-over and handling processes all play a factor in productivity, and creating (or inhibiting) the best ROI on a full-scale AFP production line. This presentation benchmarks current slit-tape and spool specifications, including lessons learned regarding off-machine material handling, maximizing spool performance in the creel box and slit tape transport to the head, prepreg material issues impacting the ST process, and improved production methods to maximize yields and drive improved unit costs. We will also provide illustrations of slit tape in use by a wide spectrum of AFP manufacturing models, and examine new trends emerging for Prepreg Slit Tape both in aerospace other high-volume applications.

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Dan Ott, Web Industries, Inc.

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