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1. WO2020139433 - PROCESS FOR FABRICATION OF FIBER COMPOSITES USING DUAL-CURE FREE-FROM 3D-PRINTED TAILORED FIBER PLACEMENT PREFORM

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A method for generating a thermoset Fiber- Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite preform, the method comprising:

dispensing, from a print head of a 3D-printer, a dual-cure resin coated fiber comprising a dual-cure resin with an ultra-violet (UV)-curable component and a thermally-curable component;

curing, during the dispensing of the dual-cure resin coated fiber, the UV- curable component with a UV light source such that the dual-cure resin coated fiber is partially cured and contacting lengths of the partially- cured dual-cure resin coated fiber bond together; and

positioning the print head, during the dispensing and curing of the dual-cure resin coated fiber, to three-dimensionally print the thermoset FRP composite preform.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising:

forming, prior to the dispensing, the dual-cure resin coated fiber by coating a core fiber with the dual-cure resin.

3. The method as in one of claims 1 or 2, wherein

coating of the core fiber is performed by at least one of a group comprising dip coating, spraying, brushing, or impregnating the dual-cure resin.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the dual-cure resin coated fiber being dispensed from the print head is an uncured pre-impregnated dual-cure fiber.

5. The method as in one of claims 1-4, wherein

the UV light source that cures the UV-curable component comprises a light emitting diode (LED) lamp,

the LED lamp has a power greater than or equal to 3 W and less than or equal to 30 W, and

the LED lamp illuminates a surface of the dual-cure resin coated fiber with an intensity of 3 J/mm2 or more.

6. The method as in one of claims 1-5, further comprising cutting the dispensed dual cure resin coated fiber with a mechanical chopper of the print head.

7. The method as in one of claims 1-5, further comprising cutting the dispensed dual cure resin coated fiber with a laser of an optical chopper of the print head.

8. A system for generating a thermoset Fiber- Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite preform, the system comprising:

a 3D-printer that dispenses, from a print head, a dual-cure resin coated fiber comprising a dual-cure resin with an ultra-violet (UV)-curable component and a thermally-curable component; and

a UV light source that cures, during the dispensing of the dual-cure resin coated fiber, the UV-curable component such that the dual-cure resin coated fiber is partially cured and contacting lengths of the partially-cured dual cure resin coated fiber bond together, wherein

the 3D-printer positions the print head, during the dispensing and curing of the dual-cure resin coated fiber, to three-dimensionally print the thermoset FRP composite preform.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the 3D-printer comprises a multi-axis robot arm that positions the print head.

10. The system of claim 8, wherein

the 3D-printer comprises a gantry that positions the print head, and

the print head is rotatably mounted on the gantry.

11. The system as in one of claims 8-10, further comprising a coating system that forms, prior to the dispensing, the dual-cure resin coated fiber by coating a core fiber with the dual-cure resin.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the coating system comprises a bath of the dual cure resin where the core fiber is dip-coated to form the dual-cure resin coated fiber.

13. The system of claim 11, wherein the coating system comprises a sprayer that sprays the dual-cure resin and coats the core fiber to form the dual-cure resin coated fiber.

14. The system of claim 11, wherein the coating system comprises a brush that brushes the dual-cure resin and coats the core fiber to form the dual-cure resin coated fiber.

15. The system as in one of claim 8-14, wherein

the UV light source that cures the UV-curable component comprises a light emitting diode (LED) lamp,

the LED lamp has a power greater than or equal to 3 W and less than or equal to 30 W, and

the LED lamp illuminates a surface of the dual-cure resin coated fiber with an intensity of 3 J/mm2 or more.

16. The system as in one of claims 8-15, wherein the print head comprises a mechanical chopper that cuts the dispensed dual-cure resin coated fiber.

17. The system as in one of claims 8-15, wherein the print head comprises an optical chopper that cuts the dispensed dual-cure resin coated fiber with a laser.

18. A non-transitory computer readable medium (CRM) storing computer readable program code for generating a thermoset Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite preform, the computer readable program code causes a computer to control a 3D-printer to:

dispense, from a print head of a 3D-printer, a dual-cure resin coated fiber comprising a dual-cure resin with an ultra-violet (UV)-curable component and a thermally-curable component;

cure, during the dispensing of the dual-cure resin coated fiber, the UV-curable component with a UV light source such that the dual-cure resin coated fiber is partially cured and contacting lengths of the partially-cured dual cure resin coated fiber bond together; and

position the print head, during the dispensing and curing of the dual-cure resin coated fiber, to three-dimensionally print the thermoset FRP composite preform.