+46 (0)31-772 13 56
The project’s goal is to show that ultrasonic alignment of fibres can be used in sheet moulding compound (SMC) based manufacturing to tailor the alignment of fibres in pressed components.
Controlling fibre alignment is essential to controlling composite properties and much of the work on SMC is on done on this. Ultrasonic alignment has the potential to be a system that can be integrated into existing automated system of SMC manufacturing allowing the rapid, online adjustment of fibres before and during a the pressing of a component. This means that the fibres orientation within the SMC can be adjusted in a way that is not currently possible and through this, the material can be adapted to different designs and integrated with other materials without the need for changing the SMC material or press tool. Ultrasound transducers are also relatively cheap and can be integrated into difference parts of the manufacturing process, once accurate modelling of the wave propagation has been achieved.
The project solves a technical problem but the solution has far reaching consequences on the way composites can be manufactured. Hence, the project meets the goals of increasing the sustainability and competitiveness of, in particular, the Swedish car industry, where high volume manufacturing of composite materials is essential for cost effective lightweighting. The theory has been tested in short fibre composites in the UK on a lab scale but manipulating