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~] E I N E M A N N Printed in Great Britain. All rights reserved

0010-4361/95/$10.00

enhancement of on-line consolidation

technique

Concordia Center for Composites, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Concordia

University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada HG3 1MB

(Received January 1994; revised 1 December 1994)

During laser assisted processing of thermoplastic composites, the individual effects of laser power, tape

speed and consolidation pressure on the interply bond strength cannot be easily separated unless a large

number of experiments is carried out. Because the properties of an end product depend upon the selec-

tion of processing conditions, it is essential that the conditions under which a well consolidated part is

obtained should be defined. To investigate the effects of individual process parameters from a minimum

number of tests, the Taguchi method is applied. For this investigation, PEEK/carbon fibre (APC-2)

thermoplastic composite rings were manufactured by a thermoplastic tape winding process at selected

conditions, and the influence of dominant process parameters on interply bond strength was evaluated.

The influence of three dominant factors, namely laser power, consolidation pressure and tape speed, on

bond strength were investigated. The experimental design involved using L9 orthogonal arrays, and the

percentage contribution of each factor to the quality of bonding was estimated by the ANOVA technique.

cost of the experiments.

In the manufacture of a composite component, several

Techniques such as fractional factorial design are used

processing variables influence the performance of the

to simplify the design of experiments. Fractional facto-

product. The technique of defining and investigating all

rial design investigates only a fraction of all the possible

possible conditions in an experiment involving multiple

combinations. This approach saves considerable time

factors is known as the design of experiments. In the old

and money but requires rigorous mathematical treat-

days it was believed that the scientifically correct way to

ment, both in the design of the experiment and in the

conduct an experiment was to vary just one factor at a

analysis of the results, to correctly understand the

time, holding everything else fixed. Thus for a full facto-

process. Each experimenter may design a different set of

rial design, the number of possible designs N is:

fractional factorial experiments. Therefore, a systematic

N = L m (1) approach to determine the effect of process parameters

on the quality of end product is helpful. Herein lies

where L = number of levels for each factor and m = Taguchi's contribution to the science of the design of

number of factors. experiments. He simplified and standardized the frac-

Thus, if the quality of a given product depends on tional factorial designs using a special set of orthogonal

three factors, A, B, and C, and each factor is to be tested arrays. According to Taguchi's experimental design, only

at three levels, the equation (1) indicates 33 (27) possible a minimum of 8 experiments instead of 128 experiments

design configurations. It means the experimenter has to for seven factors at two levels are required to get enough

conduct 27 tests to get enough information about the information about the process. Detailed explanations of

process. As the number of factors or number of levels Taguchi methodology can be found in refs 1-4.

increases, the total number of tests also increases. For For manufacturing processes where a large number

example, if an engineer wants to determine the effect of factors influence the final outcome, the Taguchi

of seven factors at two levels then the total number of approach can be utilized to arrive at the best parameters

for the optimum design configuration with the least

number of analytical investigations. Therefore the

* To whom correspondence should be addressed Taguchi method has great potential in the area of low

Taguchi method for process enhancement: S.K. Mazumdar and S. V Hoa

In spite of this, use of statistical techniques in the area Beamdelivery ~ Aircylinder

of composites manufacturing is lacking. Wilkins et al. 5 system Consolidated

used the Taguchi method for property and process ~_~ laminate Mandrel

process.

~ Roller

Recently several researchers have addressed various I Incoming Contact

point

tape

aspects of thermoplastic tape laying and tape winding

processes. Beyeler and Guceri 6, Grove 7. Nejhad s and

Anderson and Colton 9 have developed models for the LaserHead

prediction of temperature history for a known amount \

of heat supply and known tape speed for a tape laying

operation. Other researchers 1°-~4have studied the experi-

mental aspects of thermoplastic tape winding. Beyeler et Cooler

al. 1° discussed the feasibility of laser processing by

producing several rings using Ryton AC 40-60 prepreg ~ PoweCont

r roller

tapes. Hauber and his co-worker 11,12used robots and hot

nitrogen gas for the manufacture of circular cylinders.

Figure 1 Schematicdiagram of the laser assisted thermoplastic tape

Werdermann et al. 13 designed and fabricated an on-line winding process

consolidation facility for the manufacture of circular

rings and short tubes for thermoplastic composites. They are shown in Figure 2. A 65 W CO2 laser having a wave-

used infra-red and hot nitrogen gas for heating the pre- length of 10.6/an (MPB Technologies) was used for

impregnated tow. Carpenter and Colton 14 used hot air processing the composites. The experimental set-up used

as a heat source for the fabrication of circular rings. The for manufacturing the rings is described in detail in ref.

major emphasis in these works ~°q4 was on the design and 20. In the tape winding process the three dominant

development of an experimental set-up and the determi- processing parameters are laser power, tape speed and

nation of quality of consolidation by optical microscopic consolidation pressure. By changing the laser power and

study. None of the above researchers 1°-14experimentally tape speed, the temperature history and thus quality of

determined the temperature history, process induced the part can be changed.

deformations, crystallinity or quality of the bond. For the present investigation, 10-ply rings were manu-

Mazumdar and Hoa 15-18performed qualitative analy- factured at selected processing parameters. Mazumdar 2°

ses of the effects of dominant process parameters, such characterized the interfacial ply bonding of ring speci-

as the amount of heat supply, tape speed and consoli-

dation pressure, on the temperature history, process

induced deformation, crystallinity and quality of consol-

idation for laser and hot nitrogen gas aided processing.

Agarwa119 studied the effect of laser power on crys-

tallinity, void content, temperature distribution and

interlaminar bond quality for a constant tape speed of

15.4 mm s-l. The above works lack any quantitative

analysis on the effect of process parameters on bond

quality. This paper emphasizes the quantitative analysis

of the influence of dominant process parameters on bond

strength. The study provides important information and

guidelines for the thermoplastic tape winding process,

and determines the percentage contribution of individ-

ual parameters to the bond quality.

OBJECTIVES

The present study is performed to fulfil the following two

objectives:

1. to use a statistical method for determining the

optimum condition; and

2. to estimate the contribution of individual process

parameters, such as laser power, consolidation pres-

sure and tape speed, to the quality of the bond.

EXPERIMENTAL P R O C E D U R E

APC-2 tape (ICI Fiberite) with a 6.35 mm width and

0.125 mm thickness was used to manufacture 146 mm

diameter rings using a thermoplastic tape winding tech-

nique. A schematic diagram for manufacturing an APC-

2 ring is shown in Figure 1. Photographs of the set-up l~gmre2 Photographs from back and front of the experimentalset-up

Taguchi method for process enhancement: S.K. Mazumdar and S.V. Hoa

mens using a short beam shear (SBS) test, a double 60 W (A3), 151.4 kN m -l (B3), 13.0 mm s-1 (C2)

cantilever curved beam (DCCB) test and a fracture For the present case only one experiment at each of

surface study by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). the above conditions was performed to determine the

They found that the SBS test is sensitive to interply main effects o f individual processing parameters. The

bonding and can easily detect differences in the interply optimum condition is identified by studying the main

bond quality. Therefore, in the present case SBS tests effects of each of the factors.

were conducted for quality control purposes.

Analysis of results

IMPLEMENTATION OF TAGUCHI METHOD As described above, tings were manufactured at spec-

ified conditions and the results of the SBS tests, in terms

Designing the experiment of a quality characteristic Y, were measured as shown

Experimental design involves defining all the possible below:

conditions in an experiment involving multiple factors.

An experimental design must satisfy two'objectives. In Yl -- 25.66 MPa, Y2 = 28.06 MPa Y3 = 20.65 MPa

the first, the number o f trials is calculated and in the Y4 35.09 MPa,

TM Y5 = 29.79 MPa Y6 = 29.15 MPa

second, the conditions for each trial are specified.

Y7 -- 35.66 MPa, Y8 = 35.73 MPa Y9 = 39.57 MPa

Taguchi developed several sets of orthogonal arrays

(OAs) for designing experiments with various factors and

levels. In the present case three factors at three levels are These results were recorded in the far tight column of

studied, as listed in Table 1. Three levels are selected the OA (Figure 3). Since there was only one test for each

when it is suspected that the influence of a factor on the condition, the results were recorded in one column. For

result can be non-linear. F o r the present case, an L9 om, some trial conditions such as experiment numbers 4 and

as shown in Figure 3, will be suitable for experimental 7, multiple tests were performed. Experiments 4 and 7

design I. There are nine independent conditions in an L9. were selected for multiple runs because they were close

These conditions are described by the numbers in the to the optimum conditions. The standard deviation for

rows. Experiments were performed at laser powers of 40, experiment number 4 with two test runs was found to

50 and 60 W, consolidation pressures of 50.4, 100.8 and be 0.564 and that for experiment number 7 with three

151.3kN m -l, and tape speeds o f 6.42, 13.0 and 27.0 m m test runs was found to be 1.773. Once the main effects

s -~. Here consolidation pressure is measured in terms o f are known, then new levels for control factors are

load per unit width o f the laminate, with the assumption selected to locate the best condition for higher perfor-

that there is linear contact between the consolidation mance: The results for the new levels are presented in

roller and laminate 2°. F o r clarity, the experimental ref. 20.

conditions o f Figure 3 can be explained as follows: T o speed up analysis, Taguchi has provided some key

procedures which are used here. When these steps are

Experiment No. 1: strictly followed by different individuals performing the

analysis, they are likely to arrive at the same conclusions.

40 W (AI), 50.4 kN m -1 (B0, 6.42 mm sl (Ct)

Experiment No. 2: Computation of average performance

40 W (A0, 100.8 k N m -1 (B2), 13.0 mm s t (C2) To compute the average performance of factor A at

Experiment No. 3: level 1, i.e. At at 40 W laser power, we add the results

40 W (A0, 151.3 k N m -1 (B3), 27.0 mm s 1 (C3) for trials including factor A~, and then divide by the

number of such trials. For A~, we look in the column for

Experiment No. 4: A and find that level 1 occurs in experiments numbers

50 W (A2), 50.4 kN m -t (B0, 13.0 mm s-1 ((:2) 1, 2 and 3. The average effect of At is therefore calcu-

Expertment No. 5: lated by adding the results Y of these trials as follows:

50 W (A2), 100.8 kN m -t (B2), 27.0 mm s-t (C3)

Experiment No. 6:

ors A B C Y

50 W (A2), 151.4 kN m -1 (B3), 6.42 m m s l (CO Laser Pressure Tape SBS t e s t

Trials ~1 Power Speed results (MPa)

Experiment No. 7:

60 W (A3), 50.4 k N m -1 (Bl), 27.0 mm s"l ((73) 1 25.66

2 28.00

Experiment No. 8:

60 W (A3), 100.8 k N m -l (B2), 6.42 m m s a (Ci) 3 20.65

winding process 1 29.15

1 35.73

Laser power (W) 40 50 ~ 60

2 39.57

Consolidation

pressure (kN m 1) 50.4 100.8 151.3

Tape speed

(mm "l) 6.42 13.0 27.0 Fig~e 3 An experimental lay-out using L9 array

Taguchi method for process enhancement: S.K. Mazumdar and S.V. Hoa

Alav = (]I1 + ]I2 + }'3)/3 = (25.66 + 28.00 + 20.65)/3 Quality characteristics

= 24.77 For a product obtained by thermoplastic tape

winding, the bigger the value of bond strength is, the

The average effects of other factors are computed in a better the quality of the product. Thus from Figure 4 the

similar manner: A3 (60 W), Bl (50.4 kN m -1) and C2 (13.0 mm s-l) combi-

nation is likely to produce the best result and therefore

A2av : (Y4 + Y5 + Y6)/3 : 31.34 represents the optimum condition for the present case.

A3av = (Y7 + Y8 + Y9)/3 = 36.99 From Figure 4 it can be observed that the influence of

B~av = (Y~ + Y4 + Y7)/3 = 32.14 tape speed on bond strength is non-linear. The exact

trend of the curve is not known. More tests at 60 W laser

B2av = (Y2 + }'5 + Y8)/3 = 31.17

power and at tape speeds in the range 13.0-27.0 mm s-l

B3av = (Y3 + Y6 + Y9)/3 = 29.79 are needed to locate the optimum conditions. It is

Clay = (Yl + Y6 + Y8)/3 = 30.18 obvious from the results of Figure 4 that to further

C2av = (Y2 + Y4 + Y9)/3 = 34122 improve the quality of laser p~ocessed parts, one should

study the effects of laser power above 60 W and tape

C3av = (Y3 + Ys + Y7)/3 = 28.70

speeds higher than 13.0 mm s-l. In the present case, tests

are not conducted at a laser power higher than 60 W

The above values are plotted in Figure 4 to show the because of the limitations of the equipment. This infor-

main effects of each factor on the quality of the bond. mation is very useful in deciding about further sets of

It is clear from the figure that the increase in laser power experiments for obtaining higher performance.

increases the bond strength, whereas effect of consoli-

dation pressure in the range 50.4-151.3 kN m -! is negli- Relative contributions of variables

gible. The influence of tape speed on bond strength is

The relative contribution of processing parameters is

found to be non-linear, and the quality of interlaminar

established by comparing their variances. The analysis

properties is found to be poor at lower and higher tape

speeds. of variance (ANOVA) technique is used for this purpose.

Calculations of different terms of ANOVA are omitted

The reason for the increase in interply bond strength

here. For a detailed study on ANOVA refer to ref. 1.

with the increase in laser power is that the higher laser

Results of ANOVA in terms of per cent contributions

power causes a higher temperature at the consolidation

of each process parameter are expressed as:

point. Higher processing temperatures would result in

lower polymer viscosity and higher intermolecular diffu-

PA = 79.08%, PB = 2.72% Pc = 17.05%

sion, which will cause a greater degree of resin flow and

molecular interdiffusion, and will result in better inter-

ply bond properties 18'2°. The effect of variation in consol- where PA, PB and Pc are the per cent contribution by

laser power, consolidation pressure and tape speed

idation pressure in the range 50.4-151.3 kN m -1 on bond

respectively.

strength is negligible. The reason for this could be that

The results show that the laser power contributes

the degree of intimate contact is not affected in this pres-

79.08% to the development of bond strength, and there-

sure range 2°. Decreasing the consolidation pressure to 25

kN m ~ decreases the degree of intimate contact and thus fore laser power should be controlled properly. The

contribution of consolidation pressure to the develop-

affects the bond strength 2°. Because there may be suffi-

ment of bond strength is only 2.72%, and therefore vari-

cient wetting between plies in the consolidation pressure

ations in consolidation pressure during processing would

range 50.4-151.3 kN m ~, variation in interply bond

not significantly affect the quality of bond. The influence

strength is found to be minimal. The effect of tape speed

on the SBS test results is found to be non-linear. of tape speed during on-line consolidation is found to be

17.05%.

Mazumdar 2°divided the tape speed into three categories;

In.most cases variation in the quality of a product is

low speed range (thermoplastic degrades), medium speed

unavoidable because of variation in process parameters

range (good consolidation) and high speed range (poor

during manufacturing. This variation can be brought to

wetting). Because of polymer degradation at lower speed

a minimum by understanding the effects of process para-

and insufficient wetting at higher speed, interply bond

strength is reduced 2°. meters. In the present case, laser power has the highest

influence on the variation of the properties in a tape-

wound product. Therefore during thermoplastic tape

winding, the variation in laser power should be mini-

40 mized to achieve consistent quality of the end product.

The present results are found to be very helpful in

35 designing processing equipment for manufacturing

/ --o-- __~ o/

complex composite components by thermoplastic tape

/ % winding21. In the fabrication of non-axisymmetric

shapes, tape speed varies for a constant mandrel speed.

4

For example, during manufacturing of rings of elliptical

0

rn cross-sections with a semi-major axis of 7.8 cm and a

20

semi-minor axis of 3.9 cm, it is found that the tape speed

I I I I t I I I I varies from 2 to 16.2 cm s1 during one revolution of the

A1 A2 A3 B1 B2 B3 C1 C2 C3 mandrel at a constant mandrel rotation of 10 rev min l

(ref. 21). With the change in tape speed, laser power

Figere 4 Main effects of factors on SBS test results cannot be kept constant for uniform bonding between

Taguchi method for process enhancement: S.K. Mazumdar and S.V. Hoa

layers. To solve this problem, either the laser power to determine the per cent contribution of each process

should be varied to compensate for changes in tape speed parameter on the quality of bond. The optimum condi-

or the tape speed should be held constant to prevent the tion for the tape winding process was thus estimated.

variation in laser power. Present results show that the It was found that bond strength increases with an

laser power should be kept at a maximum level (60 W increase in laser power. The effect of consolidation pres-

in this case) for higher bond quality. Reduction in laser sure on bond strength was found to be negligible. The

power will decrease the bond strength. Therefore in the influence of tape speed on the quality of bond was found

production of complex shapes such as elliptical rings by to be non-linear, with the highest strength at a medium

the tape winding technique, variation in laser power tape speed. It was estimated that laser power has a major

should be prevented and tape speed should remain contribution to the improvement of bond quality. The

constant at an optimum value. Mazumdar and Hoa 21 per cent contributions to the enhancement of bond

have designed and developed a thermoplastic tape quality of laser power, consolidation pressure and tape

winding machine for the fabrication of non-axisymmet- speed were found to be 79.08, 2.72 and 17.05%, respec-

tic composite parts using a laser as the heating source. tively.

During the manufacture of non-axisymmetric parts,

mandrel speed was varied using a computer controlled REFERENCES

motor to achieve a constant tape feed rate. Calculation 1 Roy, R.K. 'A Primer on the Taguchi Method', VNR Publishers,

of mandrel speed for achieving constant tape speed was New York, 1990

performed using analytical models21. 2 Taguchi, G. 'Introduction to Quality Engineering', UNIPUB,

Kraus International Publications, New York, 1986

3 Barker, T.B. 'Engineering Quality by Design: Interpreting the

Projection of optimum performance Taguchi Approach', Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1990

From the above analysis, A3 Bt C2 is found to be the 4 Box, G.E.P. and Bisgaard, S. Quality Progress June 1987, 54

optimum condition for interply bond strength. The 5 Wilkins, D.J., Karbhari, V.M. and Steenkamer, D.A. Proc.

actual result for the above calculation is not known American Society for Composites, 1991, p. 843

6 Beyeler, E.P., and Guceri, S.I.J. Heat Transfer 1988, 110, 424

because it was not among the trial runs performed for 7 Grove, S.M. Composites 1988, 19, 367

the present case. Prediction of the result at the optimum 8 Ghasemi Nejhad, M.N. 'Three dimensional thermal and residual

condition is determined by the following relation1: stress analysis of in-situ thermoplastic composite filament winding'

PhD Thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University

Yopt = T/N + (A3av - T/N) + (Blav - T/N) of Delaware, Newark, USA, 1992

9 Anderson, B.J., and Colton, J.S.J. Compos. Mater. 1990, 24, 150

+ ( C 2 a v - T/N) (2) l0 Beyeler, E., Philips, W. and Guceri, S.I.J. Thermoplastic Compos.

Mater. 1988, 1, 107

= average performance + contributions of A3, BL and C2 11 Hauber, D.E. and Hill, L.A. 'Automated fiber placement of ther-

moplastic composites on complex shapes', Report EM90-658,

above average performance, where T -- grand total of Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Dearborn, MI, 1990

all results; N = total number of results; and Yopt -- perfor- 12 Hauber, D. 'Robotic filament winding with advanced thermo-

mance at optimum condition. plastics', Report EM87-552, Society of Manufacturing Engineers,

In this case: Dearborn, MI, 1987

13 Werdermann, C., Friedrich, K., Cirino, M. and Pipes, R.B.

J. Thermoplastic Compos. Mater. 1989, 2, 293

T = 279.3, N = 9, A3av = 36.99, Blav = 32.14, C2av= 34.22 14 Carpenter, C.E. and Colton, J.S. 'Proc. 38th Int. SAMPE

Symposium', SAMPE, Anaheim, CA, May 1993, p. 205

and therefore 15 Mazumdar, S.K. and Hoa, S.V. 'Proc. 38th Int. SAMPE

Symposium', SAMPE, Anaheim, CA, May 1993, p. 189

ropt z 31.03 + ( 3 6 . 9 9 - 31.03) + (32.14 - 31.03) 16 Mazumdar, S.K. and Hoa, S.V. 'Proc. ICCM-9', University of

Zaragoza, Spain and Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, 1993

+ (34.22 - 31.03) 17 Mazumdar, S.K. and Hoa, S.V. Heat Mass Transfer Mater.

Process. Manufacturing 1993, 26, 115

= 41.28 18 Mazumdar, S.K. and Hoa, S.V. ,L Thermoplastic Compos. Mater.

in press

which is slightly above the value of 39.57 MPa obtained 19 Agarwal, V. 'The role of molecular mobility in the consolidation

and bonding of thermoplastic composite materials' PhD

during trial run 9. Dissertation, Materials Science Program, University of Delaware,

Newark, USA, 1991

20 Mazumdar, S.K. 'Automated manufacturing of composite

CONCLUSIONS components by thermoplastic tape winding and filament winding'

PhD Thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Concordia

The Taguchi method was applied for the experimental University, Montreal, Canada, 1994

design of a thermoplastic tape winding process. Using 21 Mazumdar, S.K. and Hoa, S.V. Mater. Manufacturing Process.

the Taguchi method, only nine experiments were needed 1995, Ill(D, 47

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