Automated Fiber Placement


AFP process

Visible defects in a AFP-manufactured panel

Visible defects in a AFP-manufactured panel


Automated Fiber Placement is an advanced technology that uses a robotic arm to place fiber reinforcements merged into tows on a mould surface.  AFP is a manufacturing process that combines tape placement and filament winding to overcome the limitations and couple the benefits of each manufacturing method. Two  key advantages of AFP are: 1) the potential to build -by layer- variable stiffness composite structures with a wide range of complex planar and shaped geometries; 2) the steering of the fibre-tows in the plane of the lamina to create controlled curvilinear paths, thereby opening up the opportunities to define optmized fiber paths for steering.

In collaboration with Canadian aerospace industries and the National Research Council (Aerospace Montreal), we are currently working on multiple levels involving the integration of modelling and manufacturing. First we have been tackling the characterization of the geometric defects, mainly gaps and overlaps, which emerge during the manufacturing of curved-shape surfaces and in the presence of holes. We are using a combination of computational and experimental technique to assess the impact of process-induced defects on the mechanical properties. In parallel, we are looking into ways of best minimizing the presence of detrimental defects so as to create AFP fiber paths that are free of defects or within tolerable limits. This project ties with the research on Multiobjective Optimization of Laminate Composites with Spatially Varying Fiber Orientations (see research track 2).

We are working on coupling material models with AFP manufacturing process to minimize the occurrence of manufacturing induced defect in laminate composite of variable stiffness.

Current Students

Mahdi Arian Nik

Relevant Publications

  • Fayazbakhsh, K., Arian Nik, M., Pasini, D., Lessard, L., Optimization of variable stiffness composites with embedded defects induced by Automated Fiber Placement, Composites Structures, Vol. 107, pp. 160–166, 2014. link to PDF
  • Fayazbakhsh, K., Arian Nik, M., Pasini, D., Lessard, L., Defect layer method to capture effect of gaps and overlaps in variable stiffness laminates made by Automated Fiber Placement, Composites Structures, Vol. 97, pp. 245-251, 2013. link to PDF
  • Croft K, Lessard L., Pasini D., Hojjati M., Chen J., Yousefpour A. Experimental study of the effect of automated fiber placement induced defects on performance of composite laminates, Journal of Composite Part A, vol 42, pp 484–491, 2011. link to PDF