Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Engineering Science

Program

Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Supervisor

Dr. Remus Tutunea-Fatan

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Jeff Wood

Joint Supervisor

Abstract

The replacement of steel with lightweight carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) represents one of the alternatives seriously considered by carmakers in preparation for the emission regulations of the future. While CFRPs have been used for a few decades across several industries, the recent price fall of carbon fibres have also made CFRPs attractive for high-volume automotive applications. Some challenges to address before the full-scale deployment of composites in the automotive industry are related to the efficient severing of carbon fibres. To address this, the present study investigated the effects of backing on the performance of carbon fibre severing through the development of a linear and a rotary cutter. The results obtained suggest that in addition to the foreseeable effect of backing hardness, the presence of backing wear marks and grooves also play a significant effect on the severing process.


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