The key parameters of the in situ consolidation of carbon fibre reinforced poly-ether-ether-ketone (AS4-CF/PEEK) by automated tape placement (ATP) process were investigated by manufacturing of continuous rings and by laying tape onto pre-consolidated laminates. In order to establish and understand correlations between the process parameters and mechanical properties, a number of parametric studies were performed by manufacturing and testing the interlaminar shear strength, single lap shear strength and fracture toughness samples. The main process parameters investigated were the compaction force, tape laying speed and tool temperature. To achieve a uniform heat distribution across the thermoplastic tape, a new nozzle was designed. Baseline samples were also manufactured using the autoclave process to provide a comparison for the ATP composites produced. Optical microscopy was used for investigating the microstructure of composites compared. It was found that increasing the tool temperature reduced the temperature gradient between the incoming tape and substrate, resulting in better lap-shear strength and fracture toughness properties.
Qureshi, Z., Swait, T., Scaife, R., & El-Dessouky, H. M. (2014). In situ consolidation of thermoplastic prepreg tape using automated tape placement technology: Potential and possibilities. Composites Part B: Engineering, 66, 255-267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesb.2014.05.025