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Design and Analysis of a Novel Tension Control Method for Winding Machine

The filament winding technique has evolved in recent decades moving from classical lathe-type towards winding with an increased number of degrees of freedom using more complex equipment. These advancements complicate the selection of an optimum toroid winding machine set-up for the realization of particular winding methods and correlating part designs. This is further complicated by the variety of approaches. In order to investigate existing equipment technologies regarding feasibility, operational and economic aspects, different filament winding equipment is established in an experimental environment. Thereby advantageous solutions can be assigned to particular winding methods and the selection of appropriate filament winding equipment is facilitated.

Filament winding has emerged as the main process for carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) fabrication, and tension control plays a key role in enhancing the quality of the winding products. With the continuous improvement of product quality and efficiency, the precision of the tension control system is constantly improving. In this paper, a novel tension control method is proposed, which can regulate the fiber tension and transport speed of the winding process by governing the outputs of three different driven rollers (the torque of the unwind roll, the torque of the magnetic powder brake roller, and the speed of the master speed roller) in three levels. The mechanical structures and dynamic models of the driven rollers and idle rollers are established by considering the time-varying features of the roller radius and inertia. Moreover, the influence of parameters and speed variation on fiber tension is investigated using the increment model. Subsequently, the control method is proposed by applying fiber tension in three levels according to the features of the three driven rollers. An adaptive fuzzy controller is designed for tuning the PID parameters online to control the speed of the master speed roller. Simulation is conducted for verifying the performance and stability of the proposed tension control method by comparing with those of the conventional PID control method. The result reveals that the proposed method outperforms the conventional method. Finally, an experimental platform is constructed, and the proposed system is applied to a gear toroidal winding machine. The performance and stability of the tension control system are demonstrated via a series of experiments using carbon fiber under different reference speeds and tensions. This paper proposes a novel tension control method to regulate the fiber tension and transport speed.

High modulus carbon fiber is an excellent industrial material, which is widely used in several fields such as satellite supporting cylinder, shells of rocket engine, and solar array. The composite manufacturing process is the key to the application of carbon fiber. Filament winding has emerged as the main process for fabricating composite structures. It is widely used in building rotational parts. In the filament winding process, the carbon fiber is delivered from the unwind roll and passed through the resin bath to mix with resin under different temperatures and finally wrap around the surface of the mandrel in the designed pattern. The major specifications that should be satisfied during the winding process are the winding line type and the fiber tension, which are considered to be the key factors related to the tensile strength of the fiber products. The winding line type is determined using the numerical control system, so this paper focuses on the tension control problem during the winding process. Researchers have shown that unstable tension may lead to loss in strength of fiber winding products [1]. Therefore, fiber tension should be maintained at the reference value during the winding process for ensuring the product quality.

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