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Optimisation of Fabric Architectures
“New Manufacturing Techniques for Optimised Fibre Architectures” is a collaboration between the University of Nottingham and the University of Manchester to develop new simulation and manufacturing capability in the UK for 3D woven materials.
The project aims to discover new forms of 3D fibre reinforcements to complement and extend currently available 3D textiles, such as orthogonal weaves or layer-to-layer weaves. Areas of focus will include braiding and cylindrical preforming. This aim is being achieved by establishing a computational framework for textile preform optimisation not limited to existing manufacturing technologies.
The framework is being built and extended, based on a series of case studies to identify classes of materials with improved properties. New manufacturing technologies are being developed for these materials and used to validate the predicted properties. A computational framework, based on a “virtual testing” approach, is evaluating properties of various composites designs and together with an optimisation algorithm selecting the best solution. Optimisation algorithms used within the framework enable prediction of the best possible solution or a range of optimal solutions (a Pareto front).
A series of case studies, nominated by industrial partners, provide a test ground for the project and will demonstrate the weight-savings or improvement in performance achieved by optimisation of fibre preforms. New manufacturing techniques will be developed to create the optimised fibre preforms, either by the modification of existing textile processes, or by developing entirely new manufacturing processes. The manufactured samples will be used for the validation of the optimisation approach.
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