Structure and Defects

Imaging Carbon Fiber Texture and Revealing Inner Flaws

The texture, fiber angle and gap distribution, of carbon fiber fabrics, preforms and composites is a major testing task. For process engineers it is important to know that the fiber orientation of each ply in a stack remains unchanged throughout the entire manfacturing process. The EddyCus systems can help to investigate the inner structure of differently oriented multi-axial fabrics. Utilizing an advance eddy current scan (ECscan) the user can obtain information about

  • the fiber orientation and stacking and
  • the fiber distribution or spacing.

Advantages of EddyCus Measurement Devices

With the novel and pioneering EddyCus products carbon fiber textiles, preforms and composites can be tested in an unprecedented resolution. Advanced image processing features allow the user to separate and filter differently orientated layers and to determine the texture even of hidden layers. It especially allows the process owner to establish quality control throughout the entire value chain.

 

Carbon fiber detecting defects
Example carbon fiber preform

The EddyCus CF series provides advanced fiber structure analysis in high resolution across multiple layers. Defects can then be measured and easily classified by the user. The following errors are typically detected: 

  • Distortions & misalignments,
  • Wrinkles & overlaps,
  • Fuzzy balls,
  • Gaps & undulations,

 

The non-destructive testing method is particularly suitable for carbon fiber fabrics as well as for composites. Both, small and large parts can be scanned by the available EddyCus CF systems

The eddy current technology utilizes the electrical conductivity of the carbon fibers to generate the EC-scan. This feature differentiates the method strongly from other NDT methods. Therefore, the company has been awarded twice for its innovation strength. 

Software

Inline process control of gaps in inner layers of non-crimp fabrics. Using focused sensors the systems are able to monitor fiber spacing for particularly oriented layers online, just after warping.

 

 

3D shaped parts particularly preforms can be investiated at critical locations, so called regions of interest (ROI), for potential wirnkles, gaps or distortion after forming and moulding of the part. Thefore a small sensor is moved by a robot across the surface to detect subsurface defects in the inner structure. The data can be analysed in the tool EddyEVA. Process engineers can compare this actual data on fiber flow or movement with their results from FEM or process simulation.

Main contributor of this solution is the Fraunhofer IKTS, which has the capability to use stereo camera to re-capture the shape of the part, then to create a path planning, and check for collisions before scanning the ROI with the eddy current sensor.

Automated evaluation is the key to control manufacturing process of carbon fiber production. The software EddyEva is a standalone tool to avoid errors when manually assessing parts. Once thresholds are defined all eddy current scans are evaluted the regarding fiber orientation, gaps or other flaws. Alterantively a reference can be used to compare and decide on good/ bad parts.

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