It is well known that there are correlations between fiber orientation and mechanical and/or physical properties of the composite. Knowing the real orientation of the fibers within a composite material can help to optimize the design and manufacturing process.
A composite material contains materials of different densities (fibrous material and matrix), and these have different X-rays absorption capacity, generating different grey levels in scanned images. This allows later identification and separation by the computed tomography scan (CT-scan), a non-destructive technique that provides scanned images with the orientations of fibrous or filamentary components contained inside a composite material, and therefore its mechanical and/or physical properties. However the interpretation of these images depends on the criterium of the technicians, being a subjective opinion.
This subjective interpretation can be solved by our computer implemented method that allows a numeric objective valoration of the orientations of fibres or filaments inside the composite. The final result is a more efficient use of the fiber, and therefore an optimal design, from both structural and economical points of views.
New and innovative aspects
The technology provides:
- a real and exact orientation of fibers inside matrix
- a numeric objective valoration of the data
- a global and local interpretation. It is possible to obtain parameters from different parts of the composite (edges, center, etc..)
- a non-destructive and economic measurement, CT-scan testings are cheaper than mechanical testings
Main advantages of its use
Our procedure is almost totally automatized. The routine is easy to use, extremely accurate and the results can be obtained in a short period of time. The error level on fiber orientations is extremely low. This can help companies to know the quality of their manufacturing process.
This technology can ensure small and medium enterprises a quantum leap in productivity and competitiveness. Improvements in product quality, to have more objective information manufacturing processes in real time for analysis and decision making, improved inspection cycles, improved product design, etc.
Using a single algorithm implemented into a mathematical analysis software (MATLAB, OCTAVE, SCILAB or similar) all post-processing processes of the tomographic scans are automated.The segmentation of the fibres is more accurate because this method uses a predictive detection technique that clusters the spatial points into different fibres to subsequently obtain the fibre orientations into space.
The fact of using a predictive technique, i.e. predict the position of the group of points which are in the same fibre, makes it possible to separate points belonging to different fibres, even there is small distance between them. Clustering the points belonging to a single fibre, the dominant orientation of each of these fibres can be determined automatically using the interpolation line of the points.The entire process is grouped into a single algorithm. Tolerance criteria are introduced as an input value. So, the accuracy of the analysis protocol.
This technology is useful to all industrial companies related to fiber reinforced composite, when fibers show a different value of density compared to matrix. So, it is possible to identify separetely the fibers from the matrix, for instance in automotive and aeronautical companies, construction companies that use fiber reinforced concretes, etc..
Intellectual property status
Protected by patent PCT/EP2013/067219
Current development status
In use, test results available.
Desired business relationship
Trade Agreement, License Agreement, Technical cooperation: further development, Technical Cooperation: testing of new applications; Technical Cooperation: adaptation to specific needs.