The design and manufacture of unstiffened composite conical structures is very challenging, as the variation of the fiber orientations, lay-up and the geometry of the ply pieces have a significant influence on the thickness imperfections and ply angle deviations imprinted to the final part. This paper deals with the manufacture of laminated composite cones through the prepeg/autoclave process. The cones are designed to undergo repetitive buckling tests without accumulating permanent damage. The aim is to define a process that allows the control of fiber angle deviations and the removal of thickness imperfections generated from gaps and overlaps between ply pieces. Ultrasonic scan measurements are used to proof the effectiveness of the proposed method.
- Finite element modelling