The Autonational filament winding machine forms the heart of a production line. The newest technology is applied in combination with many years of experience to manufacture pipe to high standards of quality. The output of an Autonational filament winding machine depends on the diameter and pressure class. The output of the winder is approximately four pipes per hour based on 200mm diameter, 25 bar pressure pipe.
The mandrel is automatically collected from the preheating oven and placed in the filament winding machine on request. A resin rich liner layer can be applied with the liner application unit if this is required. This liner is created by winding a resin impregnated non woven glass film directly on the mandrel.
The actual winding process is started after the rovings are tied to the mandrel. Autonational has automated the cut and restart process with a new technology. The control system provides the required process control data based on the activated recipe. A squeegee unit is applied to remove the surplus of resin from the pipe. The resin can be collected in a bucket that is hitched onto the squeegee unit or the resin is collected on the drip pan.
The mandrel with reinforcement is automatically ejected from the winder and transported to the curing oven after the winding procedure is finished and the rovings are cut.
The control system provides integrated process control data based on pre-programmed recipes. The recipes are programmed directly on the filament winding machine or on a PC. Recipes can be stored in the memory of the control system. A recipe is contains all pipe data like for example:
- Pipe dimensions
- Number of layers
- Winding angle for each layer
- Extra material build-up for example for reinforcement of joints
The Autonational filament winding machine is provided with specially developed glass delivery tools that guide the impregnated rovings to the mandrel. The design of the glass delivery is of great importance for the final product quality. It is optimised to obtain:
- Optimum roving spreading
- Minimum friction
- Accurate roving placement
A control system is being developed by Autonational that, in contrast to common position control systems has all required components integrated in one unit. A great advantage of this system is that it can easily be configured for the goal of each application. Some of the many capabilities of the new system are:
- The possibility of application of mathematical models for optimized process control and for generation of winding patterns.
- Graphical visualization for user friendly machine control. This flexible interface can easily be adjusted to clients specifications
- Product tracking and tracing
- Data logging
- Winding program generation by teaching
- The unit is provided with a large data storage capacity
- The control system is provided with a web server that enables machine control, monitoring or servicing anywhere in the world
Filament Winding is the process of winding continuous strands or tapes of carbon fibres, glass fibres or other reinforcements on a mandrel in very precise patterns. The reinforcement passes through an impregnation system in a wet winding process. Dry winding is possible with pre-impregnated thermosetting or thermoplastic resins.
Strong low weight structures can be produced like pipes, pressure vessels, drive shafts, rocket motor casings, tanks. Filament winding technology has been expanded to include non-cylindrical, non-spherical composite parts.
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