The art of filament winding

The art of filament winding

The art of filament winding Heather L. Giacoietto n filament I of Entec Composite Machines Inc presents a brief history of winding. 1964, ...

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The art of filament winding Heather

L. Giacoietto

n

filament

I

of Entec Composite

Machines

Inc presents

a brief

history

of

winding.

1964,

the

of Filament

authors

Winding: Its Development,

tare, Applications

Manufac-

and Design defined

filament winding as a technique which ,I. . . produces high-strength and light-

weight

products;

two ingredients;

consists

basically

of

a filament

or

and a matrix

or

namely,

tape type reinforcement resin.”

Although, this is a true and accurate statement, filament winding is more than a clinical activity. Let’s think of filament winding in a new respect - consider filament winding to be a form of art. For example, imagine a filament winding machine as it effortlessly moves back and forth delivering fibre to a spinning mandrel. Such images normally do not provoke a sense of art, but in the basic sense technology and design are two important aspects of art. The mandrel is the pallet, the fibre and resin are the paint, the machine is the brush, and the machine control is the artist.

The mandrel

is the pallet,

the fibre and resin are the paint, brush, control

the machine

is the

and the machine is the artist.

If we take this approach a step further, let’s not only consider the act of filament winding to be an art form, let us consider the machine itself to be an art form. Many engineered products and especially architecture have long been considered art forms, in many respects

30

REINFORCEDplastics

October

2002

Two machines built by ECM in the

mid-

1960s.

I

use of gears, belts, pulleys and chains. These machines had limited capabilities

so could a filament winding machine. Engineers take great care in designing the form and function of each machine. They precisely evaluate the product that the machine will produce, the environment in which the machine will work and the operators that will control the machine. Throughout the years, engineers have designed and redesigned filament wind-

dominated, but advancements were well under way. Eventually through technical innovations, engineers were able to design servo-controlled photo-optic machines with hydraulic systems. The desired fibre

ing equipment, as technology advances. Engineers utilized available knowledge and tools to produce the first filament winding machines. Equipment that was designed in the 1940s and 50s was very low-tech, performing the simplest tasks using only two axes of motion (spindle rotation horizontal carriage). and Machine design was basic and would consist of a beam, a few legs and even cam rollers for support. The simplistic design was sufficient to create the first filament wound parts - rocket motor cases. Initial advancements came in the form of mechanical systems that allowed an operator to program a machine by the

path was converted into machine motion through a black white interface on a drum; which was followed by a photo-optic device that controlled the machine function. During this time the filament winding machine became increasingly sophisticated in design; the addition of a third axis of motion (radial or crossfeed carriage), profile rails and ball shafts in combination with improved gearboxes made for smoother, more accurate filament winding. By the mid 1970s machine design once again made a dramatic shift. This time the advancement of servo technology entered the realm of the machine design. High-speed computers allowed

and capacities, but were accurate. simplistic design of the machine

The still

0034-3617/02/$ - see front matter 0 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. A// rights reserved.

The art of filament winding

for rapid

data

smoother

motion

ment

processing,

accuracy.

resulting

in

generation

software,

and greater fibre place-

figurations,

such

Increasingly,

shaped parts and non-axisymmetric

function

that historically was controlled through the use of belts, gears, pulley and chains

could be successfully

was eventually

The future

being controlled

through

Although

use of computer

ing equipment,

and motion

control

cards became

tial pieces of hardware ed in almost

every

Computers essen-

that were includmachine.

Machine

accuracy. were design;

Additional

also

axes

incorporated

allowing

of motions

into

machine

for four, five and even

six axes of controlled

motion!

At the same time a number of different companies began to experiment with the notion and development of pattern generation software (FiberGrafiXTM and CADWINDTM). By creating pattern

40

ago

years

computer

controlled

machines

were inconceivable,

dominate

filament

what

this is a brief accounting

advances

winding

will the

now they equipment;

next

40 years n

of the wind-

other factors played into and this to build

Without

lightweight,

growth

increased

parts

wound.

the success of this equipment

position

with

T-

industry. we would

velocity

filament

long and broad history of filament

speed control was greatly improved; computer control systems could track and

con-

shafts,

bring?

the use of computers. The 1980s and 90s saw the increased technology.

more complex

as tapered

ment

strong composite amazing

of fibres

and

of so many

cations. The future winding

need

structures,

never have seen the develop-

of this

expansion

the

machinery,

the

resins

the

composite

development

equipment

and

appli-

of filament

is unknown,

but it

can be said that engineers will continue to redesign and refine the machines as new technologies are discovered and enhanced, allowing for the ‘art of filament

winding

machinery’

to continue.

RES No. 316 - USE THE FAST NEW ENQUIRY SERVICE

@I www.reinforcedplastics.com October

2002

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