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Title:
WOVEN 3D FIBER REINFORCED STRUCTURE AND METHOD OF MAKING THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/232363
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is a woven three-dimensional (3D) fiber reinforced structure and method of making thereof having improved shear stress and stiffness. The structure is fabricated from tows with off-axis fiber reinforcement. The tows can repiace warp or weft tows used in standard 3D weaving processes.

Inventors:
BAYRAKTAR, Harun (5 Ridge Road, Newfields, NH, 03856, US)
Application Number:
US2018/037929
Publication Date:
December 20, 2018
Filing Date:
June 15, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ALBANY ENGINEERED COMPOSITES, INC. (112 Airport Drive, Rochester, NH, 03867, US)
International Classes:
D03D11/00; B32B7/14; D02G3/06; D03D13/00; D03D15/00; D03D25/00
Foreign References:
EP3095901A12016-11-23
US20130216770A12013-08-22
US20120144984A12012-06-14
Other References:
LABANIEH: "Conception and characterization of multiaxis 3d woven preform", TEXCOMP CONFERENCE, 2013
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EHRHARD, Kathleen, N. et al. (McCarter & English, LLPWorldwide Plaza, 825 Eight Ave., 31st Floo, New York NY, 10019, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is Claimed:

1. A three-dimensional (3D) woven structure comprising:

a plurality of first yarns in a particular direction;

a plurality of second yarns in another direction interwoven with the plurality of first yarns,

wherein at least some second yarns include at least one bias

reinforcement yarn.

2. The woven structure of claim 1 , wherein the at least some second yarns are a laminated structure having at least three layers that include at least one second yarn bias layer, each of the at least one second yam bias layers having fibers at an angle of other than 0° or 90° with respect to fibers in second yarn layers that are not second yarn bias layers.

3. The woven structure of claim 2, wherein the laminated structure comprises:

a second yarn first layer of fibers in a first direction;

a second yarn second layer of fibers in a second direction; and

wherein the at least one second yam bias layer of fibers is disposed between the second yarn first and second layers,

wherein fibers in a second yarn first bias layer are at a first angle with respect to the first direction.

4. The woven structure of claim 3, wherein the first and second directions are the same.

5. The woven structure of claim 3, comprising: a second yarn second bias layer of fibers disposed between the second yarn first and second layers,

wherein fibers in the second yarn second bias layer are at a second angle with respect to the first direction.

6. The woven structure of claim 5, wherein the first angle is between 30 and 60 degrees and the second angle is between -30 and -60 degrees.

7. The woven structure of claim 6, wherein the first angle is 45 degrees and the second angle is -45 degrees.

8. The woven structure of claim 6, wherein the first angle is 30 degrees and the second angle is -60 degrees.

9. The woven structure of claim 3, wherein the at least some second yarns comprise a second yam first veil on an outside surface of the second yam first layer and a second yam second veil on an outside surface of the second yarn second layer.

10. The woven structure of claim 3, wherein at least some first yams are a laminated structure having at least three layers that include at least one first yarn bias layer, each of the at least one first yam bias layers having fibers at an angle of other than 0° or 90° with respect to fibers in first yarn layers that are not first yam bias layers.

11. The woven structure of claim 10, wherein the laminated structure comprises:

a first yam first layer of fibers in a third direction;

a first yam second layer of fibers in a fourth direction; and the at least one first yarn bias layer of fibers disposed between the first yarn first and second layers,

wherein fibers in a first yarn first bias layer are at another first angle with respect to the first direction.

12. The woven structure of claim 11 , wherein the third and fourth directions are the same.

13. The woven structure of claim 12, wherein the 3D woven structure is formed into a preform having a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of Pi, H, T, O, and I.

14. The woven structure of claim 1 , wherein the 3D woven structure is formed into a preform having a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of Pi, H, T, O, and I.

15. The woven structure of claim 1 , wherein at least some of the second yarns are braided tows.

16. The woven structure of claim 15, wherein at least some of the first yams are braided tows.

17. The woven structure of claim 1 , wherein the at least some of the second yarns are multiaxial tapes.

18. The woven structure of claim 17, wherein the at least some of the first yams are multiaxial tapes.

19. A method of forming a three-dimensional (3D) woven structure comprising: weaving a plurality of first yarns in a particular direction with a plurality of second yarns in another direction interwoven with the plurality of first yarns, wherein at least some second yarns include at least one bias

reinforcement yam.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the at least some second yarns are a laminated structure having at least three layers that include at least one second yarn bias layer, each of the at least one second yarn bias layers having fibers at an angle of other than 0° or 90° with respect to fibers in second yam layers that are not second yarn bias layers.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the laminated structure comprises: a second yam first layer of fibers in a first direction;

a second yarn second layer of fibers in a second direction;

the at least one second yam bias layer of fibers is disposed between the second yarn first and second layers; and

wherein fibers in a second yam first bias layer are at a first angle with respect to the first direction.

22. The method of claim 21 , wherein the first and second directions are the same.

23. The method of claim 21 , comprising:

disposing a second yarn second bias layer of fibers between the second yarn first and second layers,

wherein fibers in the second yam second bias layer are at a second angle with respect to the first direction.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the first angle is between 30 and 60 degrees and the second angle is between -30 and -60 degrees.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the first angle is 45 degrees and the second angle is -45 degrees.

26. The method of claim 24, wherein the first angle is 30 degrees and the second angle is -60 degrees.

27. The method of claim 21 , wherein the at least some second yarns comprise a second yam first veil on an outside surface of the second yam first layer and a second yam second veil on an outside surface of the second yarn second layer.

28. The method of claim 21 , wherein at least some first yams are a laminated structure having at least three layers that include at least one first yam bias layer, each of the at least one first yarn bias layers having fibers at an angle of other than 0° or 90° with respect to fibers in first yarn layers that are not first yam bias layers.

29. The method of claim 28, wherein the laminated structure comprises: a first yam first layer of fibers in a third direction;

a first yam second layer of fibers in a fourth direction;

the at least one first yarn bias layer of fibers is disposed between the first yam first and second layers; and

fibers in a first yarn first bias layer are at another first angle with respect to the first direction.

30. The method of claim 29, wherein the third and fourth directions are the same.

31. The method of claim 30, comprising; forming the 3D woven structure into a preform having a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of Pi, H, T, O, and I.

32. The method of claim 19, comprising:

forming the 3D woven structure into a preform having a cross-sectional shape selected from the group consisting of Pi, H, T, O, and I.

33. The method of claim 19, wherein at least some of the second yams are braided tows.

34. The method of claim 33, wherein at least some of the first yams are braided tows.

35. The method of claim 19, wherein the at least some of the second yarns are multiaxial tapes.

36. The method of claim 35, wherein the at least some of the first yams are multiaxial tapes.

37. A method of forming a three-dimensional woven composite

comprising:

forming a three-dimensional woven structure according to claims 21 or 29; and

impregnating the three-dimensional woven structure with a matrix material.

Description:
WOVEN 3D FIBER REINFORCED STRUCTURE

AND METHOD OF MAKING THEREOF

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the disclosure

The application relates to load bearing structures and methods of making same. In particular, the load bearing structures are made from three-dimensional (3D) woven fabrics. 2. Related Art

In load bearing structures (automobiles, airplanes, bridges, etc.), oftentimes the load cases and the geometric constraints create a load path that subjects the material to significant shear stresses. For example, an aircraft fuselage will experience torsional flight loads that result in shear stresses in the fuselage skin. As such, it is an important feature for the material used in such structures to have adequate shear stiffness and strength.

A common structure for improving shear stiffness and strength are laminated composites constructed from unidirectional (uniaxial) or bi-axially woven layers. These layers, which by themselves have weak shear properties, are placed at various angles to create laminates that have shear properties that are dramatically improved. Most commonly, lamina are placed at 0°, 45°, or 90° angles in different proportions to meet structural design requirements, but other angles are also possible. Figure 1 illustrates a 3D woven composite that is woven bi-axially. That is, tows and fibers are in warp (0°) and weft directions (90°). Bi-axially woven composites in three dimensions have multiple layers as shown in FIG. 1A. Lack of bias fibers at other angles combined with inherently weak shear properties of the tows leads to weak macroscale shear stiffness and strength that can manifest itself in pure shear loading or when loaded in 45°. The in-plane shear stiffness and strength is a weakness for certain applications. FIG. 1B shows a comparison of tensile strength (stress-strain) for a 3D woven composite with intermediate modulus carbon fiber reinforcement when loaded in the 0° (warp), 45° (bias), and 90° (weft) directions. Where COV is the coefficient of variation and IM7 is intermediate modulus carbon fiber reinforcement. A typical value for in-plane shear modulus (G12) is about 5.5 GPa.

Some researchers have attempted to solve this in-plane weakness of shear strength and stiffness of 30 bi-axially woven composites by weaving in bias tows at angles other than 0° and 90°, which can significantly increase the complexity of the weaving system and process. See, for example, Labanieh et al, "Conception and characterization of multiaxls 3d woven preform," 2013, TexComp Conference, Leuven, Belgium.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosure is directed to a three-dimensional (3D) woven structure and method of making the structure. The structure includes a plurality of first yarns in a particular direction and a plurality of second yarns in another direction interwoven with the plurality of first yarns. At least some second yams include at least one bias reinforcement yam.

In one embodiment at least some second yarns are a laminated structure having at least three layers that include at least one second yam bias layer, each of the at least one second yam bias layers having fibers at an angle of other than 0° or 90° with respect to fibers in second yarn layers that are not second yarn bias layers.

The laminated structure can include a second yarn first layer of fibers in a first direction and a second yarn second layer of fibers in a second direction. The at least one second yarn bias layer of fibers is disposed between the second yam first and second layers and fibers in a second yarn first bias layer are at a first angle with respect to the first direction.

The laminated structure can also a second yam second bias layer of fibers disposed between the second yarn first and second layers with n fibers in the second yam second bias layer at a second angle with respect to the first direction.

The structure can also include at least some first yarns that are a laminated structure having at least three layers that include at least one first yarn bias layer, each of the at least one first yam bias layers having fibers at an angle of other than 0° or 90° with respect to fibers in first yarn layers that are not first yarn bias layers. The laminated structure can also include a first yam first layer of fibers in a third direction and a first yarn second layer of fibers in a fourth direction. The at least one first yam bias layer of fibers is disposed between the first yarn first and second layers and fibers in a first yarn first bias layer are at another first angle with respect to the first direction.

In another embodiment at least some of the second yarns are braided tows and can include at least some of the first yams being braided tows.

In yet another embodiment at least some of the second yams are multiaxial tapes and can include at least some of the first yarns being multiaxial tapes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings presented herein illustrate different embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:

Figure 1A illustrates a ply-to-ply 3D weave of related art.

Figure 1B illustrates a typical tensile stress-strain relationship in a biaxially 3D woven composite with no bias fiber reinforcement.

Figure 2 illustrates a structure of a multi-directional, multi-layer tow.

Figure 3 is a graphical comparison of the elastic constants of three sample structures. Figure 4 is a photograph of a 3D woven preform constructed with braided yarns containing off-axis fiber reinforcement.

Figures 5 and 6 are photographs of the composite formed from the preform of Figure 4.

Figures 7A-7B illustrate examples of yarns that contain off-axis orientation of fibers.

Figure 8 illustrates a summary of tensile modulus and strength results for a sample comprising a multiaxial tow.

Figure 9 illustrates the in-plane tensile stress-strain performance for a 3D woven composite comprised of multiaxial fiber reinforcement.

Figure 10 illustrates a comparison between the in-plane 45° tensile responses for 3D woven composites comprised of multiaxial reinforcement and uniaxial reinforcement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Terms "comprising" and "comprises" in this disclosure can mean "including" and "includes" or can have the meaning commonly given to the term "comprising" or "comprises" in U.S. Patent Law. Terms "consisting essentially of or "consists essentially of if used in the claims have the meaning ascribed to them in U.S. Patent Law. Other aspects of the invention are described in or are obvious from (and within the ambit of the invention) the following disclosure.

The terms "threads", "fibers", and "yarns" are used interchangeably in the following description. "Threads", "fibers", and "yarns" as used herein can refer to monofilaments, multifilament yarns, twisted yarns, textured yarns, coated yarns, bicomponent yarns, as well as yarns made from stretch broken fibers of any materials known to those of ordinary skill in the art. "Tows" are comprised of multiple fibers and are referred to herein interchangeably as, and include the structures of, tows, multifilament tows, multifiber tows, and braided tows. Fibers can be made of carbon, nylon, rayon, fiberglass, cotton, ceramic, aramid, polyester, metal, polyethylene glass, and/or other materials that exhibit desired physical, thermal, chemical or other properties.

The term "folded" is broadly used herein to mean "forming", which includes unfolding, bending, and other such terms for manipulating the shape of the woven fabric. The term "bias" is used interchangeably with "off-axis" and means at an angle other than 0° and 90°, with respect to a stated reference.

For a better understanding of the invention, its advantages and objects attained by its uses, reference is made to the accompanying descriptive matter in which non-limiting embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings and in which corresponding components are identified by the same reference numerals.

This invention disclosure describes a product and method of making the product to improve in-plane shear properties for woven structures by using tows that have improved shear properties that can be woven using existing 3D weaving equipment and processes. While, as discussed above, bi-axially woven fabrics can employ laminated bias layers to improve in-plane shear properties, the present disclosure provides improvement in in-plane shear properties by weaving tows that are themselves constructed to have off-axis (bias) reinforcement. That is, the tows contain fiber reinforcement in various directions with respect to the tow axial direction. The tows can be multilayered, such as laminated tapes, multiaxial tapes, or muttiaxial, such as a braid, which is a single layer, and does not contain unidirectional layers. The tows disclosed herein may be used for some or all of the tows in any or all directions of the fabric. For example, the tows can be used for some or all the tows in either or both the warp and weft directions of the woven fabric. In another example, the tows can be used in some or all of the tows in either the warp or weft direction while uniaxial tows are used in the remaining weft or warp direction. It is contemplated the tows could also be used in a bias layer of a laminated fabric.

Figure 2 illustrates a sectional view of an embodiment of a multiaxial, multilayer tow 200 having four layers. Fibers in outside layers 202 are oriented in a particular direction, which for purposes of reference will be referred to as 0°. Fibers in a first intermediate layer 204 are oriented at +45° and fibers in a second intermediate layer 206 are oriented at -45°, with respect to the fibers in outside layer 202. While the tows are shown with fibers at +M5° in the intermediate layers, other angles including +/-30 0 or +/-60 0 might be preferred due to other considerations. Also, the angles shown and discussed for the bias uniaxial layers are for illustration only and can be angled with respect to one another as design necessities require. It should be noted that more or fewer layers can be used depending on design necessities.

Each of the layers 202, 204, 206 can have multiple layers of fibers in the same orientation to have a desired thickness D. It should be noted that the thickness of each layer may be the same or different from other layers as necessitated by design requirements. An exemplary thickness of each layer is in the range of 0.0Γ (0.025 cm) to 0.075" (0.190 cm) with 0.0625 * (0.159 cm) being a nominal thickness. The tow 200 may be fabricated in a desired tape width W or as a sheet and slit into tapes of the desired width W. Multilayer and multi-directional non-crimp fabrics (NCF) can be treated with thermoplastic veils on either or both of the outside surfaces of the first and last layers 202 then slit to tape width W for Automated Tape Layup (ATL) or in this instance 3D weaving applications.

An exemplary tape width W of the tow is in the range of 0.02" (0.051 cm) to 0.75" (1.905 cm) with 0.25" (0.635 cm) being a nominal width. Regardless, the multi-directional, multilayer tows constructed as described herein are used to fabricate a 3D bi-axially woven preform of desired configuration.

3D bi-axially woven preforms can be woven with multiple bifurcations within the preform to result in a preform with various cross-sectional shapes including Pi, T, H, O, I and other shapes known to those of ordinary skill in addition to a 3D woven sheet with multiple layers. A 3D bi-axially woven preform can subsequently be impregnated with resin to form a composite structure.

The tows can be used in any known weaving technique including but not limited to Jacquard or dobby weaving with shuttle and rapier looms. Figure 2 illustrates a tow that is a laminate structure. However, additional binder fibers, not shown, may be added to the laminate structure as known to those of ordinary skill. Such methods of manufacturing create thin non-crimp fabric (NCF) and/or resin treated material similar to Hi-Tape® that can be used directly in laminated composites or in automated tape layup (ATL) manufacturing.

As illustrated, tow 200 is a laminate having a substantially rectangular cross-sectional shape, which may be referred to as a laminated tape. However, other shapes are possible and the tow may, for example, be a flattened braid with an off-axis fiber or fibers such as the braided tow shown in FIG. 7A or the multiaxial tapes shown in FIG. 7B.

As discussed above, yarns can have a laminated tape structure with one or more bias layers. That is, the bias layers are layers produced from fibers that are at an angle of other than 0 degrees or 90 degrees to the layers that are not bias layers. Although in FIG. 2 the outside layers are shown with fibers in the same direction, this is not a restriction. Indeed, the layers of the laminated structure may be any desired arrangement as design necessitates. Accordingly, there is no restriction on where in the laminated stack the bias layers are with respect to other layers. And the angular direction of fibers in a bias layer can be the same or different from the angular direction of fibers in other bias layers. Moreover, fibers in bias layers may be at 0 degrees or 90 degrees with respect to one another.

FIG. 8 shows a summary of experimental test results of tensile modulus and strength for a sample comprising a 3D fiber reinforced multiaxial tow when loaded in the 0° (warp), 45° (bias), and 90° (weft) directions.

The test was performed with the following conditions:

Tow type: Toray® T300 carbon fiber

Tow size(s): 1 K - number of filaments per tow

Number of tows: 24 - number of tows used to weave the braided reinforcement. Number of straight vs. angled 8 vs 16 tows: 8 tows are used in the axial direction.

The remaining 16 tows are interlaced via a braiding process. Intended braid angle: 45° (actual ~55°)

Final panel FV (fiber volume): ~55% It is contemplated that flattened braided tows may simulate multiaxial tows. Homogenized tow properties are based on the lamina 58% fiber volume, which makes total composite fiber volume 46%. G 12 of the composite improves using braided tows (~17 GPa versus expected 4-5GPa).

FIG. 9 shows experimental results for in-plane tensile stress-strain performance for a 3D woven composite comprised of multiaxial braided tow reinforcement. Note the modulus (slope of the lines) of the bias, weft, and warp directions are very similar. This is a result of the incorporation of off-axis fiber reinforcement within the braided tows used during the 3D weaving process.

As can be seen, the modulus of FIG. 9 is similar with that of the multiaxial reinforcement of FIG. 8, whereas the image shown in related art FIG. 1B has very different responses from the composite when loaded in warp, weft, and bias (45 s ) directions.

Figure 10 shows a comparison between the in-plane 45° tensile responses for 3D woven composites comprised of multiaxial reinforcement and uniaxial reinforcement. The modulus associated with multiaxial reinforcement is substantially greater than that of uniaxial reinforcement.

Figure 4 is a photograph of a 3D woven preform 400 having braided yarns with an off- axis fiber rather than a flat tape. The off-axis fiber in the braided yarns woven in both the warp and weft directions is the middle section 410 across the width. The top and bottom thirds 420 and 430 are woven with multi-directional braided yarns in the warp direction and standard uniaxial tows in the weft direction. This illustrates that hybrid preforms can be woven mixing standard and multiaxial tows to meet performance requirements. The braided yarn is a multi-directional tow rather than just off-axis fiber. It provides on- and off-axis reinforcement. The braided tow may have on-axis fibers in addition to off-axis fibers.

Figures 5 and 6 are photographs of the composite of the 3D woven fabric of Figure 4 Three configurations of 3D woven composite structure using multi-directional, multi-layer tows of the present invention were compared using micromechanics homogenization capabilities embedded in Albany Engineered Composites' (AEC) 3D Composite Studio™ software:

Example 1:

A 3D woven composite manufactured with uniaxial tape with fiber content and dimensions similar to Hexcel Hi-Tape®. The tow packing factor is 60% resulting in an overall fiber volume of 50%. The fiber content in 0° ±45°, and 90° directions in the composite are 50%, 0%, and 50%, respectively. A low-angle interlock fiber architecture was chosen to calculate composite elastic properties.

Example 2:

A 3D woven composite manufactured with multidirectional tape with fiber content and dimensions similar to Hexcel Hi-Tape® although their construction is more similar to C- Ply™ material. The tow packing factor is 60% resulting in an overall fiber volume of 50%. The fiber content in 0°, ±45° and 90° directions in the composite are 25%, 50%, and 25%, respectively. Each tow has a 50%, 50%, 0% fiber distribution. The same low-angle interlock fiber architecture from example 1 was chosen to calculate composite elastic properties and quantify the changes in mechanical properties.

Example 3:

Standard quasi-isotropic laminate construction with 50% fiber volume and (25%, 50%, 25%) fiber distribution. This was chosen as a baseline to illustrate the weaker shear properties of standard 3D woven composites (Example 1) and quantify improvements from this invention (Example 2).

The results comparing the three examples are summarized in Table 1 and Figure 3. Example 2 shows a 3.83X improvement in shear stiffness (Gxy) over Example 1 and is within 20% of the shear stiffness of the quasi-isotroplc laminate. While axial moduli (Exx and Eyy) were significantly reduced by about 33% in Example 2 compared to Example 1 , they are within 4% of Example 3.

Table 1 - Comparison of composite properties and elastic constants of the examples. Percent fiber in 0°, ±45°, and 90° is shown for each configuration. Values for Exx, Eyy, and Gxy are in GPa

From these results, it can be concluded that by using a multidirectional reinforcement as described in this disclosure, it is possible to manufacture a 3D woven composite with in- plane stiffness properties very similar to the industry standard quasi-isotropic laminate with additional benefits of improved through thickness stiffness and strength, damage tolerance, and energy absorption characteristics.

The 3D multilayer, multidirectional fabrics can be impregnated with a matrix material. The matrix material includes epoxy, blsmaleimide, polyester, vinyl-ester, ceramic, carbon, and other such materials.

Other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.