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Development of a wireless multi-functional sensor system for the recording of process parameters during the manufacture of fibre-composite components

(Kopie 3)

Project Leader: Prof. G. Ziegmann (Dr.Eng)

Funding period: 03/2014 - 02/2016
Funding body: DFG
Funding reference: DFG Zi 648/34-1

Contact partner: M.Sc. Mehdi Javdanitehran

The quality and mechanical properties of fibre-composite plastics (FCPs) depend to a large extent on the matrix processing procedure during the curing process. The precise analytical process is difficult, on account of the complex correlations between the geometry of the component and the reaction kinetics of the resin system used. With real systems in particular, e.g. in case of thick-walled components, transferability is only possible to a limited extent. Therefore the online monitoring of the processes is required. The dielectric method has established itself as a reliable, integrable variant. However, current measurement systems are only used to a limited extent due to the wired sensors.

The objective of this project is the development of a wireless sensor system for the interference-free real-time recording of the degree of curing and of the reaction temperature during the manufacture of fibre-composite plastics. Within the scope of a collaboration with the Chair for High-Frequency Technology of the University of Erlangen, relevant measurement values with an innovative microwave resonator (for the electrical values and also the temperature) in the form of a passive RFID sensor are recorded and correlated with the actual degree of curing. Previous limitations (cable ducts in the tool and component, weaknesses through cable passages) can be circumvented with a compact design of this type. Based on the sensor signals and the findings regarding the correlation of the reaction chemistry and the dielectric properties, the process can be modified online in a targeted manner, by means of the local adjustment of the tempering system. Unfavourable curing can thus be avoided and the cycle time optimised.

These sensors can still be used for the monitoring of the impregnation phase. The further use of the sensor following curing as a multi-functional system for the strain measurement for structural health monitoring (SHM) will be studied within the scope of this project. This system can be used as a comprehensive, multi-functional monitoring system throughout the entire lifespan of a component, from manufacture to operation.

 

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