Design of the Adjustable Fiber Feed System for the Pultrusion of Fiber Reinforced Composite Materials

Pultrusion is a process whereby fiber rovings made of Aramid, carbon, glass or other types, are formed into solid materials having superior mechanical and chemical properties over traditional manufacturing materials. The typical process consists of hundreds of fiber spools mounted on a spool rack, some preforming guides to align the fibers, a resin bath that coats the fibers, a steel die which shapes the fibers and cures the resin, followed by a mechanism that pulls the final product from the die.

The current process at T.W. Pultrusions, Ltd. located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, does not have any means of measuring or controlling the tension of the fibers as they enter the pultrusion die. The ability to monitor and control the tension in the fibers is important for the quality of the final product.

The FFS design group has been constructing a device that can be placed into the process that measures the tension of groups of fibers. Measuring instruments located on the measuring device will send back information through a control system that will be connected to a braking system located on the fiber racks. If the tension in the fibers deviates from the desired value, the braking mechanism will adjust to counteract the change..