PhD title for Thijs Kok
On September 6th 2018, researcher Thijs Kok successfully defended his PhD thesis in the field of consolidation quality in laser assisted fiber placement.
Laser assisted fiber placement (LAFP) is a promising additive manufacturing technique for large aerospace structures. The process involves the use of a robot to place thermoplastic composite prepreg tapes to build-up a component ply by ply. The prepreg tape is heated using a laser and subsequently bonded to previously placed plies under pressure applied by a roller. LAFP has the potential to reduce manufacturing time and costs by consolidating the prepreg tape in-situ, i.e. during placement.
However, the consolidation quality achieved by LAFP at high placement rates does not meet the high consolidation quality required by the industry. Thijs addressed this issue in his thesis by pointing out the effect of the heating phase on the consolidation state of the incoming tape and the consequences on the governing mechanisms during consolidation.
The research has been performed at the ThermoPlastic composites Research Center in close cooperation with the Production Technology research group of Prof. Dr. Ir. Remko Akkerman. Apart from significant contributions to the scientific community, the cooperation has resulted in industry guidelines for laser assisted fiber placement.
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Moreover, the thesis of Thijs Kok can be downloaded via the University of Twente repository.