Automated preforming of composites

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering Sciences


McLaren wish to further develop its capability on the area of the preforming of composite materials for Automotive applications.
The project will focus on investigating the mechanisms involved in the drapability of dry preforms and with the aim of developing new material architectures. This will involve the definition of the best material and forming process combination to maximize performance in terms of cost and manufacturability.
At the start, a thorough research of the state of the art of forming methods and material architecture will be undertaken. The main steps of the project will comprise the definition and execution of tests in order to establish all necessary material properties required to simulate the forming process.
The testing methodology above will be integrated with an intensive modelling activity based on commercially available FE software packages (for example Abaqus), with the aim of demonstrating a robust and predictive simulations at increasing levels of layup and geometry complexity. This will culminate in supporting the execution of forming tests and proving correlation and model predictions.
As part of this project, very important aspects related to the definition of fibre direction on a geometrically complex composite structure will also be developed in order to maximize modelling accuracy for structural analysis. This will involve the study of different ways of creating composite material formats (press-forming, manual draping, tailored fibre placement, etc.) and the definition of the best methodologies to simulate material behaviours using commercially available CAD/CAE software packages and developing innovative and dedicated routines where necessary.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512217/1 01/10/2017 31/01/2022
1945271 Studentship EP/R512217/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Phillip Kearney