“The NCC has built a successful partnership with Coriolis Composites over the past six years and we are delighted to announce that we are the first customer for the new C5 machine,” Richard Oldfield, CEO, National Composites Centre (NCC).
The C5 reflects an effort by Coriolis Composites to break into the large structure market where very high lay-up rates, high levels of design optimisation and low material wastes are essential. Coriolis Composites’ fibre placement solution enables the manufacture of highly complex parts tailored for industrial applications while remaining in the reach of research organisations. Its adaptable lay-up head ensures precision and repeatability essential to the aerospace industry.
The NCC’s application ensures a process combining affordability, quality, reliability and consistent productivity needed for their complex industry standards. Uniting the C5 with other industry technologies ensures the flexibility needed for the lay-up of large, complex industrial parts. Coriolis Composites has adapted its C5 technology to a newly installed NCC gantry provided by the Loop-Coriolis Composites- Güdel consortium; as part of the NCC’s iCAP program. iCAP is a £36.7m investment in 10 digital manufacturing technologies tailor-made to the NCC’s specifications, in order to speed the development of all forms of composite manufacturing. The iCAP program is funded by ATI, Local Enterprise Partnership and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
“The C5 will be one of 5 technologies we are combining in what will be the most advanced and flexible dry-fibre deposition cell in the world,” Enrique J. Garcia, CTO, National Composites Centre (NCC).
Material specifications for the C5 Fibre placement head with its unique modular design ensures each fibre can be individually cut and restarted providing highspeed gantry lay-up for large double-curved parts. The head has 1½” (38.1mm) thermoset, thermoplastic and dry-fibre manufacturing solutions with the latter used by the NCC. The NCC’s dry fibre placement (DFP) head has 6 motorised spools with sensors that control the activation of individual spools and detection of fibre tension; the head being exchangeable using the integrated docking station.
The gantry is driven by the latest Siemens 840D controller to ensure speed and precision to ease the integration of the process.
The requirement from the NCC was a machine that can deliver high lay-up rates using dry fibre tapes for large structures, such as wing skins. In combination with the other deposition technologies included in the NCC’s prototype manufacturing cell, the incorporation of the C5 AFP allows the benefits of optimal lay-up with minimal material waste to be realised for full-scale aerostructure demonstration.
The C5’s multi-material capability also enables AFP technology to be used for large structures such as wind turbines, marine and civil engineering. Coriolis Composites has also developed the C3 as part of the gantry lay-up family.
“Coriolis Composites is a world-leader in Automated Fibre Placement and was able to successfully answer our challenging brief, to enable the NCC to match current industrial deposition rates for aerostructures, using next generation dry-fibre materials for out-of-autoclave processing. The C5 enables inch–and-a-half wide multi-laying AFP using dry-fibre tapes, avoiding the constraints of current prepreg tapes, which will be critical as industry transitions to manufacturing the next generation of wings,” Richard Oldfield, CEO, National Composites Centre (NCC).