Structural Composites Via Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)

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Klosterman, Donald A
Chartoff, Richard P.
Priore, Brian
Osborne, Nora
Graves, George
Lightman, Allan
Pak, Sung S.
Weaver, Jerry

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An innovative, rapid prototyping (RP) technology is being adapted for the automated manufacture of composite tools and molds. The technology is a direct extension ofthe Laminated Object Manufacturing (LaM) process. LaM is an established technique that is used to create solid prototypes by sequentially cutting and laminating layers of adhesive paper. With this process a full scale, geometrically complex prototype can be created directly from a CAD image in less than a day. This report provides a description ofhow LaM is being applied for the production offunctional composite laminates, such as composite tools and molds. Several material systems have been examined, including monolithic ceramics (SiC), ceramic matrix composites (SiC/SiC), and polymer matrix composites (glass/epoxy). Realistic tools and molds are being created from these materials using the LaM process with little modification. However, post processing (ceramic densification, polymer post cure) is necessary to obtain articles with good mechanical properties. Technical solutions are being developed for maintaining geometrical accuracy during the post processing cycles. The mechanical properties and performance ofthe LaM-produced parts are reported herein. Overall, this technology holds great promise for lowering the cost oftooling due to the ability to create geometrically complex objects rapidly using a highly automated processing sequence.


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