Modification of 2D Conventional Weaving Machine for the Fabrication of High Performance Woven Preforms: Part-I: Design and Manufacturing of Warp Creel
The Woven preforms are generally manufactured by weaving technique using either complex 3D weaving machines or especially designed patent machines. The advantage of conventional technique lies in the flexibility of yardage production and composite may be developed by lamination or directly using 3D multilayer structure. Due to the stiffer nature of high-performance fibers, the conventional weaving technology causes damage of fibers in general and strength and modulus in particular. The warp creel is one of the main elements of weaving machine which is responsible for such fiber damage due to inflexible unwinding of fiber spool caused by friction. Therefore, in this research, a warp creel with novel features has been designed and manufactured to replace the conventional warp beam for smooth processing of high performance fibers. For this purpose, different parts of the proposed warp creel were designed and manufactured, including creel frame and adjustable spindles. These parts were manufactured with different specifications and order to carry out the smooth processing of high-performance tow. All these parts were manufactured with MS steel. The developed warp creel was used for the production of high-performance fiber preforms. In this study, three different high-performance fibers (Carbon, Kevlar and Glass) were used to fabricate plain woven preforms. The main objective of this research is the preclusion of the fibers/filaments from deterioration from weaving mechanism. The results showed the minimum number of filaments of carbon tow being damaged. The use of MS steel material and highly polished parts resulted in least amount of frictional contacts which in turn improved the apparent quality of the formed preforms.