Effect of Press Slide Speed and Stroke on Cup Forming Using a Plain-Woven Carbon Fiber Thermoplastic Composite Sheet
Takeshi Yoneyama*,†, Daichi Tatsuno*, Kiichiro Kawamoto**, and Masayuki Okamoto**
*School of Mechanical Engineering, Kanazawa University
Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-1192, Japan
†Corresponding author, E-mail: email@example.com
**Advanced Processing Group, Komatsu Industries Corp., Ishikawa, Japan
Carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) is viewed as a prospective material for high-cycle production of CFRP parts. This paper deals with a process whereby a preheated thermoplastic plain-woven carbon fiber fabric sheet is formed into a circular cup by a mechanical servo-press. The effects of press parameters, specifically the bottom dead center and slide speed in the forming of CFRTP cup, on the press load, pressure, internal temperature, shape accuracy, and internal structure have been investigated. A plain-woven carbon-fiber-reinforced PA6 thermoplastic sheet was used. The sheet consisted of four layers of woven 3K carbon and had a thickness of 1 mm. The sheet was heated to 320°C under a halogen heater so that it would be around the recommended temperature for forming 260°C after transfer to the mold. The sheet was pressed into a circular cup shape by a cold mold while the periphery was cramped by a heated holder so as not to cool the sheet before it was pulled into the mold cave. Die clearance was designed considering the thickness increase due to the fiber concentration during the forming. By increasing the slide stroke to the bottom dead center, the applied press load was increased and the internal structure was improved, showing no voids. By increasing the slide speed, the final press load was reduced and shape accuracy was improved through a good pressure distribution on the mold. Measurement of the surface temperature of the sheet during the forming revealed that it remained in the melting region of the resin in the case of fast slide speed, but dropped below the melting temperature in the case of low slide speed. This difference apparently led to spring-in or spring-back after the forming. The experimental results indicate that appropriate balance among press speed, bottom dead center, and sheet temperature is important in the high-cycle forming of CFRTP.
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