SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Jordan Ziegenbein
TIME: Friday, December 17, 2010, 10:00 a.m.
PLACE: MARC Building, 431
TITLE: Flexible Magnetic Clamping Structures for Consolidation of Composite Laminates
COMMITTEE: Dr. Jonathan Colton, Chair (ME)
Dr. Steven Danyluk (ME)
Dr. John Schultz (GTRI)


Vacuum bags in conjunction with autoclaves are currently employed to generate the consolidation pressures and temperatures required to manufacture aerospace level composites. As the scale of continuous fiber composite structures increases autoclaving becomes prohibitively expensive or impossible. The objective of this thesis is to develop flexible magnetic clamping structures to increase the consolidation pressure in conventional vacuum bagging of composite laminates, thereby obviating the need for an autoclave. A ferromagnetic rubber, which consists of rubber filled with iron and other magnetic fillers, is being developed as a conformable and reusable vacuum bag that provides increased consolidation by static magnetic field attractive forces. Initial experiments and finite element modeling indicate that consolidation pressures in the range of 10 psi can be generated with realistic power requirements. This thesis will model and characterize the effects of the rubber filler material, electromagnet configuration, and the magnetic field strength on the consolidation pressure magnitude and distribution.