Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Engineering Science

Program

Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Jeffrey T. Wood, Dr. Remus Tutunea-Fatan

Abstract

Automotive manufacturers have started to actively look into weight savings options for mass production of vehicles that meet new government regulations. Falling prices of carbon fibers have made carbon fiber composites a promising material to be used. The study has focused on the fiber-severing unit incorporated in a high-volume composite production line in an attempt to better define the impact of blade geometry and material on the wear as experienced while cutting carbon fiber. A method to quantify the effect of usage on the cutting ability of a blade has been developed, as well as methods to measure blade wear. Results show that wear rates of blades are decreased as blade hardness is increased from 560 Hv to 1300 Hv and the root cause of the chopping unit’s failure to cut can be due to height loss of the blade as well as an increase in tip radius of curvature.


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