Tag Archives: Composite

Large Envelope Mill for Wind Turbine Blades

This has an impressive envelope for a mill and is used in the manufacturing process of wind turbine blades.  I initially guessed this was for composite trimming operations but the manufacturer lists the machine for work with “polystyrene, resins and fibres.”   This is possibly used for form or blade core manufacture?

This is a high-rail gantry style mill which can make part loading more difficult due to the mill legs but ultimately decreases the moving mass of the machine.  The numbered assembly hanging off the gantry appears to be a tool changer.

Manufacturer link here.  No information on tolerances.

Wind Turbine Blade Mill Tool Changer

Manufacturing a Composite Rocket Fuel Tank

This is an interesting video from NASA showing the manufacture of what appear to be different composite spacecraft parts including a fuel tank.

The center piece here is an articulated robot mounted on a “seventh” linear axis with a automated fiber placement end effector.  The end effector heats the area and applies strips of resin impregnated composite “tape.”  The whole process requires a high level of motion control especially with a rotating work piece.

I’m not an expert on the process but it’s easy to have an appreciation for the new manufacturing processes required by high performance composites.

The pair of blue “post” style machines in the beginning of the video appear to be testing for voids in the finished part.

Ultrasonic Void Testing Composite Tank Robot Composite Tank AFP