Volume 33, Issue 6 (November 2005)
Modeling and Calibration of a Laminating Press Prototype for Fiber-Reinforced Polymer-Glulam Billets
The design, modeling, and calibration procedure of a prototype mechanical clamping device for fabricating wood and fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite laminated billets for ASTM D 2559 delamination tests and shear block tests is presented. Quality bonding of the billets requires clamping the laminate under uniformly distributed pressure of a specified level for a span of time necessary for the resin to cure. The specific time and pressure level that may be applied depends on the type of resin and species of wood used. To meet the requirements, a mechanical clamping device was designed to provide control over the applied stress level and maintain the minimum required pressure for up to 24 h. A calibration procedure was developed in order to adjust the flow of the excess resin being pressed out of the gluelines in the first stage of clamping, as well as the nonlinear time-dependent behavior of the laminate material. The calibration procedure involved determining the correlation between the average torque applied when tightening the four closing nuts and the clamping pressure between the steel plates. In addition, a procedure to determine the laminate materials' specific clamping pressure loss over 24 h was established.