The growing use of composite materials in aerospace, transportation, recreational products and renewable energy production manufacturing has created a critical need for low-cost sustainable manufacturing methods. The current methods of consolidation and cure are not compatible with the projected aircraft, automobile production rates, and the associated manufacturing costs and energy consumption are unacceptably high. Manufacture of composite parts involves multiple steps. First, multiple layers of dry or pre-impregnated reinforcements with thermoset or thermoplastic polymers are overlaid on a tool, then heated while pressure is applied to achieve gas removal, compaction, and cure. Often, a significant amount of raw material is wasted during the layup or preforming process and during the final trimming of the part. Furthermore, if manufacturing defects are detected in the final component, additional costly repair operation or even the rejection of the part can significantly increase the overall manufacturing costs of composite parts. This webinar will present an overview of the research conducted towards the sustainable manufacturing of composite materials. The objective of the research is to develop new processes, material systems and design tools in order to reduce manufacturing costs and improve the environment impact of composite materials manufacturing. Possible solutions will be presented with concrete examples showing the reduction of waste of materials and energy.
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