Method for an automated optimization of fiber patch placement layup designs
The manufacturing of composite structures is expensive due to high material cost and the amount of manual labor needed. Current manufacturing technologies, e.g. filament winding, braiding or fiber placement technologies are offering a possibility of automated manufacturing to lower these costs. Nevertheless, these technologies are limited when it comes to structures with complex fiber architecture and small geometries. A new approach to overcome these limitations is the fiber patch placement technology. The preform of a composite structure is built up with small and dry fiber patches in a sequential order. Fiber discontinuities are necessarily occurring between two patches and are influencing the mechanical properties. To optimize strength of the composite those discontinuities have to be distributed within the preform. With increased number of patches, the number of combinations of patch positions is increasing significantly. This paper presents a method based on an ant colony algorithm for an efficient calculation of an optimized distribution, which enables to use the potential of patched laminates.