The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX) boasts one of the top-rated engineering programs in the US, and one of the research groups is focusing on controllable in-situ consolidation of thermoplastic composite processing via AFP. In order to achieve this goal, they decided to work with Addcomposites because they wanted a modular, compact, and versatile AFP system to perform these experiments.
"We are excited to support UT Austin's research efforts in this up and coming area of thermoplastic composites processing." - Pravin Luthada, CEO Addcomposites
UT Austin has augmented the AFP-XS with a high-powered laser, another first for Addcomposites, to achieve the high melt point that thermoplastics require. The laser is equipped with a pyrometer for precise temperature control. That, complimented with an external force sensor mounted between the AFP-XS and KUKA robot, will give the researchers at UT Austin full closed-loop control over temperature and pressure parameters during thermoplastic layups. "We are excited to support UT Austin's research efforts in this up-and-coming area of thermoplastic composites processing." says Pravin Luthada, CEO of Addcomposites, adding "This closed-loop control, especially with a laser, will widen the capabilities of the AFP-XS for high-end applications."
Dr. Mehran Tehrani, Assistant Professor at the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering adds, "Our goal is to tackle major barriers for the adoption of AFP of in-situ consolidated TPC's."
We have worked with the team at UT Austin to ensure the highest level of communication protocols for the laser integration. More updates will be provided at the time of realization.