March 19-21, 2013 Long Beach (CA) Convention Center

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


SME Member Meet & Greet
7:00am – 7:45am

(FREE to SME members; registration required)


Keynote Presentation on the Deck:
8:00am – 9:00am

Adele Ratcliff, Director, DoD Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program, ODASD (MIBP)

Morning Concurrent Technical Sessions:
9:15am – 11:00am

(NOTE: Conference fees include exhibit hall access and crossover privileges between the AeroDef and Composites Manufacturing events.)


Automated Composite Processes

Session Chair: Carroll Grant, Aerospace Composites Consulting


9:15 AM-9:45 AM
Expanding Variety of Machine Sizes and Configurations for Automated Composites Lamination
Javier Raya, Integration & Operations Manager, MTorres

Automated Tape Layer (ATL) and Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) lamination technologies have historically been offered primarily as very large and very expensive machines. Because of the size and price of ATL and AFP equipment, these processes have been mostly exclusive to the largest aerospace companies in the world. In recent years, ATL and AFP technologies have reached a maturity level that allows them to be packaged in more variety of machine sizes and configurations. Machine suppliers are expanding their product lines by offering ATL and AFP lamination equipment that is designed (and priced) for a wider range of potential customers in the marketplace. Machine suppliers are also more willing to design lamination equipment for specialty applications. This presentation will discuss the variety of ways ATL and AFP lamination technologies are being packaged to meet the needs of the aerospace composite structures supplier base.

9:50 AM-10:20 AM
Automated Layup
James Hecht, Director, MAG IAS LLC

10:25 AM-10:55 AM
Reducing AFP Cycle Times by Using the Right Software Tools
Michael Muser, Director Composites, Ingersoll Machine Tools

Tooling for Composites

Session Chair: Dave Dickson, Tooling Development Leader, The Boeing Company


9:15 AM-9:45 AM
Nanosilica-based 3M ™ Fortified Tooling Prepreg: Materials and Applications
James Nelson, PhD, Sr Product Development Specialist, 3M Company

  • Improved composite tooling material properties, durability and surface quality
  • Improved dimensional stability; reduced CTE and composite Springback
  • Enables composite designers to produce accurate, lighter tools
  • Technology applicable to low tem OOA epoxy and traditional BMI prepregs

Nanosilica modification of BMI and Epoxy (OOA and autoclave cured) tooling prepreg resins produces tooling structures with improved mechanical properties and enhanced durability. Laminate properties such as compression strength flexural modulus, in-plane shear strength and short beam shear are augmented by the inclusion of silica nanoparticles. Additionally CTE and shrinkage are reduced leading to reduced composite springback. Material properties and discussion of the use of these materials in producing tooling structure will be highlighted.

9:50 AM-10:20 AM
Development of Low-Thermal-Mass Eco-Friendly Water-Washout Mandrels for Composite Cures to 400ºC (750ºF)
Linda Clements, PhD, CEO, Nevada Composites, Inc.

  • Develop of washout tooling for use to 400ºC (750ºF)
  • Progress and applications in temperature regimes to 400°C (750ºF)
  • Characteristics of the tooling
  • Design opportunities offered by the tooling

This presentation will report on the development of eco-friendly low-thermal-mass tooling that can provide composite manufacturing solutions for temperatures to 400ºC (750ºF). Single-sided tooling has been developed but the most revolutionary development is in reasonably priced eco-friendly warm-water-washout mandrels. This lightweight tooling has a composite compatible coefficient of thermal expansion and can produce complex shapes and hold tight tolerances. The tooling uses a newly developed warm-water-washout coating whose use has been extended from elevated-temperature (177ºC/350ºF) application to very high temperature usage. The presentation will discuss both the tooling itself and its use in composite applications. The plans for future development will also be described.

10:25 AM-10:55 AM
A 3-Tiered Approach to Reducing TPLC "Total Products Lifecycle Cost"
William "Brian" Holmes, VP Aerospace, Janicki Industries

  • Aerospace composites production science is in a growth phase
  • As demand for composites grows, so does the need for ever better products
  • These advances focus on reducing "Total Product Lifecycle Cost"


Metallic tooling such as aluminum, steel, stainless steel, and Invar still offer opportunities to reduce costs by advancing knowledge in:

  • metal processing/forming,
  • improved understanding of heat treating parameters
  • more precise heat treat operations
  • optional sub-structures
  • and exploring opportunities for material additions.

Composite tooling offers benefits over metallic tooling for certain tooling life cycles; and it provides unique solutions for caul sheets, thermal profiling, and weight/inertia critical applications where metallic tooling cannot meet requirements. OOA tooling systems can produce very large scale tooling – beyond typical autoclave. Research includes:

  • scale up testing for large area laminate tools
  • optional sub-structures
  • optional mastering techniques
  • high tolerance machined surfaces


Aerospace industry tolerance demands are driving advances in:

  • laminate properties
  • mastering technologies
  • machining techniques


Machining of Composites

Session Chair: Robert Pickell, Sr. Manufacturing Engineer, The Boeing Company

9:15 AM-9:45 AM
Finite Element Modeling of Twist Drilling in Metals and Composites
Shuji Usui, PhD, Lead Developer, Third Wave Systems

  • Recent advances in composite drilling modeling technology
  • Influence of fiber orientation on hole quality
  • FEA representation of delamination

A three-dimensional finite element-based model of drilling is presented which includes fully adaptive unstructured meshing, tight thermo-mechanical coupling, deformable tool-chip-work piece contact, interfacial heat transfer across the tool-chip boundary, and constitutive models appropriate for high strain-rate, large strain, and high temperature deformation. The model of the carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite is discretized with a structured mesh employing dynamic cohesive element insertion techniques, allowing representation of 0, -45, 45, and 90 degree fiber orientation laminas. These laminas are explicitly modeled as unidirectional composites. Delamination is represented by dynamic insertion of cohesive zone elements. Within each unidirectional laminar, transverse crack, fiber bending, and fiber breaking are modeled through a combination of dynamic cohesive element insertion and structured mesh element splitting techniques. To validate this finite element model, drilling tests over a wide range of process conditions for Al7050, Ti-6Al-4V and composite materials with three different solid tools were performed. Thrust force, torque, and chip shape are compared with predicted data.

9:50 AM-10:20 AM
High Efficiency in Machining Carbon Fiber Composites and Metal Stacks for Aerospace Application
Abdelatif Atarsia, Aerospace & Composite BU Manager, Mapal Inc.

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) drilling is a frequently practiced machining process in aerospace industry due to the need for components assembly in aircraft structures. Starting from few decades, research has been conducted to achieve effective drilling of CFRP including studies related to different aspects such as the nature of composites, drilling parameters and hole quality and performance. In this paper, a drilling test program was undertaken for CFRP and titanium (Ti-6Al-4V) stack, with included the identification of optimum drilling process parameters and tooling conditions for application in fastener hole drilling. Hole quality was first assessed visually, then measured using both geometric and processing response parameters, and finally integrated in a statistical process control (SPC) to allow a clear vision on short and long term production results. Discussion is based on the effect of the stack components (CFRP/Ti) on the choice of drilling parameters (feed rate and cutting speed) and consequently the quality of the hole based on drilling parameters, surface quality, chip evacuation, entry and exit edge integrity in term of uncut fiber and delamination. Finally, an optimal operating parameters window for CFRP/Ti stack will be suggested for a secure machinability process.

10:25 AM-10:55 AM
Machining of Composites
George Georgiou, MAG IAS, LLC

  • Machinery designs enabling applications in fiber and tape on a single machine platform
  • Machine platforms which serve aerospace and wind blade production requirements
  • Developments in automotive applications for composites
  • Developments in industrial pressure vessel applications for composites
  • Technology for post lay-up and finishing operations

Lunch on the Expo Floor:
11:00am – 12:30pm


Composites Tech Group Awards on the Deck:
12:30pm – 1:00pm


Please join us in honoring this year’s recipients of the following awards:

J.H. "Jud" Hall Composites Manufacturing Award
Presented by SME's Composites Manufacturing Tech Group

The J.H. "Jud" Hall Composites Manufacturing Award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed to composites manufacturing or tooling technology through leadership, technical developments, patents or educational activities. This award honors the late Judge H. Hall (1931-1985) for his dedication to making the former Composites Manufacturing Association of SME (CMA/SME) an established group within the composites manufacturing industry, and for his contributions to the dvelopment of composites technology.

For more information and/or to nominate someone for the J.H. "Jud" Hall Composites Manufacturing Award, click here.

Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Awards
Two Excellence in Composites Manufacturing awards are presented annually. These awards were created to recognize two companies, one large and one small, that have excelled in manufacturing products made from advanced composites materials.

For more information and/or to nominate a company for these awards, click here.

Panel Discussion on the Deck:
1:00pm – 2:00pm


The Future Role of Software in Composites Manufacturing

Moderator: Randy Kappesser, Composites Technology Leader, GE Aviation



Bill Hasenjaeger
Product Marketing Manager

Leigh Hudson
Director of Product and Market Strategy
Siemens PLM Software

Rani Richardson
Composites Product Specialist
Dassault Systemes

A panel of leading Composite Manufacturing Software Suppliers will provide views as to how their companies will support the future of Composite Part Manufacturing. Overviews by each panelist will be provided, along with the opportunity for audience members to ask questions. This panel will provide attendees a view of how future composite part manufacturing will be shaped by advancements in software.

Concurrent Technical Sessions:
2:15pm – 4:00pm

(NOTE: Conference fees include exhibit hall access and crossover privileges between the AeroDef and Composites Manufacturing events.)


Automated Composite Processes

Session Chair: Carroll Grant, Aerospace Composites Consulting


2:15 PM-2:45 PM
Future Concepts of Fiber and Tape Placement
Samoil Samak, Vice President, Mikrosam AD

2:50 PM-3:20 PM
Integration of Laser Projection into an Automatic Fiber Placement Production Cell
Todd Rudberg, Senior Engineer, Electroimpact, Inc.

  • Controlling laser course projection from the machine control helps locating errors quickly
  • A common coordinate frame lets you generate inspection coordinates from machine program files
  • Motion between the laser and the tool let you position the laser to inspect multiple tool areas accurately
  • Accuracy in the kinematic chain between the laser and the tool is a major limit on projection accuracy.

A case study of an Automated Fiber Placement(AFP) cell used to manufacture a C-shaped composite spar section with a laser projection system attached to the AFP machine. The laser is integrated into the machine control system so that the operator can easily trigger projection for inspection of the last sequence laid or any other sequence. The laser is also mounted to the machine, and the integration of the laser means that one laser projector can be commanded to accurately project at any part of the spar being built. Due to the shape of the spar, there is no single location that a laser projector can be located that can project on the whole part. Moving the laser or part with accurate motion is needed, and the projection system must compensate for that motion.

3:25 PM-3:55 PM
Dockable Gantry System with Integrated ATL and AFP Capability
Vern Benson, Composites Development Engineer, ATK Aerospace Structures

  • Dockable Gantry System (DGS) is state-of-the-art for Composites Lamination
  • DGS with ATL and AFP capabilities allows synergistic use of the two technologies
  • Docking multiple heads allows reduced down-time and increase design flexibility
  • Concurrent work on multiple parts in one work cell possible with DGS

ATK had been involved in Composites Automation for many years and continues to introduce new technologies to the industry to lower the cost of manufacturing composite structures. A “Dockable Gantry System” (DGS) that will allow use of both Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) and Automated Tape Laying (ATL) in the same work cell will be discussed. The DGS can quickly dock one head and pick up another for optimum use of the machine. This will allow both AFP and ATL to be used on the same part and even within the same ply to overcome the weaknesses of each system and bring synergy to the work cell. Multiple parts can be in process in the work cell, with the DGS changing heads to work on different parts as needed, while operators do planned hand operations on the other part or parts. This keeps the automation asset productive and paying for itself.

The system is flexible to add additional heads as needed. The heads are docked outside the workcell where they can be easily serviced while the machine is in operation. Multiple heads will allow use of multiple width AFP materials depending on the contour areas needing coverage, again maximizing material laydown in gently contoured areas with wider tapes and maximizing conformability in highly contoured areas with narrower tapes. Heads for other specialty operations can be added as well. ATK will present this new automation system and potential products benefiting from the technology.

Tooling for Composites

Session Chair: Linda Clements, CEO, Nevada Composites


2:15 PM-2:45 PM
Fused Deposition Molding
Bill Macy, Application Development Lead, Stratasys

2:50 PM-3:20 PM
A Comparative Study for the Machinability of Three Tooling Materials for Composite Manufacture
Alex O'Connor, Doctoral Candidate, University of Washington

  • Need for low CTE free machining tooling materials
  • How these materials are used in composite tooling and their applications
  • The machinability and characteristics of machining these materials
  • Their relative performance in light of their application

The increased use of fiber reinforced polymer composites in the aerospace industry has created a vigorous need for improved affordability of tooling used for low part cycle numbers. Current tooling is costly to produce due to difficulties in manufacture and high material cost of traditional low Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) metallic tooling materials. Short service life tooling does not need the high durability to survive numerous cure cycles and may be used only once in its’ lifespan; such as for large area repair. This makes traditional metallic tooling materials such as nickel alloys cost prohibitive. Low CTE non-metallic tooling materials which are free machining, low cost, and low durability can meet the demands of short service life tooling.

3:25 PM-3:55 PM
Benzoxazine- a Material advantage in Composite Tooling
Tracey Loyd, AirTech

Machining of Composites

Session Chair: Robert Pickell, Sr. Manufacturing Engineer, The Boeing Company


2:15 PM-2:45 PM
State-of-the-Art Composites Machining in Aerospace
Mark Saberton, Chief Engineer - Aerospace, Flow International

2:50 PM-3:20 PM
Optimizing Cutting Conditions for Composite Machining on CNC Machine Tools
Gerard Vacio, Product Manager, BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling

3:25 PM-3:55 PM
Tips and Tricks for Cutting, Trimming, and Drilling of Composite Materials
Mike MacArthur, Vice President of Engineering, RobbJack Corporation