Glen Oliver - Masters Thesis Abstract
Supervising Professors: Tommy J. Lawley and Panayiotis S. Shiakolas
Title: Automation of the Surface Finishing of Rotorcraft Blades
Most automated surface finishing done today is on parts with simple geometry and parts made of only one material, usually metal. Although greater flexibility was achieved in previous research, the process was not applied to the surface finishing of metallic/fiberglass junctures, such as seams and raised steps when smoothed over with a filling material. Further, unlike single material fairing, where no filling material needs to be shaped and ground, the dispensing and forming methods need to be developed so as to compliment the grinding methods. This document presents the developed processes for filling and forming with special emphasis on the fairing of joints, seams, and ridges of fiberglass/metal interfaces when filled with filling material. The specific case study presented is the automation of the filling, forming, and fairing of rotorcraft blades. Additional material is included on factory implementation of the process.
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