Team 1 - Thermoforming composite hemispheres

Team 1 in front of poster

Team Members ( from left to right ): Fahad Alharbi, Justin Baron, Rylan Norris.

About the Project

Our project is to produce a fiber reinforced thermoplastic hemispheres.  The hemispheres are to be produced using the automated equipment in the Harold Alfond Advanced Manufacturing Lab for Structural Thermoplastics, located at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center.   

Weekly Updates

September 27th 2017.

The team started researching information about ballistic thermoplastic helmet, geometry, and material to use and began sketching the helmet and the mold via SolidWorks.

October 4th 2017.

First draft of the helmet and the mold was made.  The team focused on researching proper thicknesses for the helmet.

October 18th 2017.

The team started summarizing articles and writing the headlines for interim report #1. They also worked on developing a tentative schedule of tasks for the rest of the semester.

October 25th 2017.

The team finalizes first interim report which includes sections such as preliminary concepts, literature review and proposal for the next phase of the project.

November 6th 2017.

The team performed compression tests for two 3D printed types of Ultem 1010 material, sparse and double dense.  5 specimens of each type of Ultem 1010 were tested and data was recorded for analysis.

January 25th 2018.

This week the team met with their clint to discuss the contract and what shall be completed by the end of the semester. 

February 7th 2018.

The team have received the mold and wrote the work instructions to start testing the material ( glass-fiber polypropylene) on the mold. Picture below shows the mold that the team will be using.









February 19th 2018.

The team calibrated 7 test on the mold for the 4″ hemispheres by using 7 blanks of ( glass-fiber polypropylene). 3 blanks were 10″ X 10″ and 4 blanks were 5″ X 5″. The team used 50 ton hydraulic press  by hanging the the 4″ hemisphere into a piece of wood and taped it into the top of the hydraulic press. below are the pictures of the 50 ton hydraulic press and the tested material. 

(The 50 ton hydraulic press) 

March 23th 2018

The team figured a method which is Dripping. The method is to place a sheet of material above a hemisphere in the oven for preheat the sheet. This method help the fiber stretches before move it to the press. 

March 28th 2018  

The methods that the team use during testing are;

  • Preheat the blanks in temperature 190C or 200C
  • Blank tensioning
  • Thickness of blank
  • Draping of the blank during heating
  • Neat Polypropylene film applied to the surface

Data was taken by using thermometer that thermo couple wire attached on. The figure below shows the data of Tempreature vs Time; 

(Click in the picture to see in details) 

April 17th 2018

The team attended the symposium and presented the capstone work. Here is the poster; 

(Click in the picture to see in details) 

April 29th 2018

The team worked on final presentation that will be held on  Wednesday May 2nd 2018 at 10:30AM in room 137 Bennett Hall.

Team Biographies

Justin Baron

Justin is a Senior Mechanical Engineering Technology student here at the University of Maine. Originally from Madawaska, Maine, Justin spent a summer back home in a Co-op position at Twin Rivers Paper Company. This opportunity allowed him to gain experience working in an industrial setting. Justin is currently a Research Assistant at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center and has been for the last year. Justin primarily works in the structural thermoplastics lab where he operates such equipment as the Fortus 900mc 3D printer and the Fiberforge RELAY 2000 tape layup machine. Justin has tentative plans to continue working with composite materials after graduation.

Fahad Alharbi

Fahad is an international senior Mechanical Engineering Technology student from Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. He joined an Intensive English Program at University of Dayton, Ohio in 2014. In 2015, Fahad started his Bachelor degree journey in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET). He has a full scholarship from the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education to study abroad. Fahad’s favorite sport is soccer. After graduation, Fahad plans to travel back to Saudi Arabia to start his career.

Rylan Norris

Rylan is a Senior Mechanical Engineering Technology Major here at the University of Maine.  He is from Holden, Maine and went to John Bapst Memorial High School.  Since his junior year in high school, he has worked at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center as a research assistant for various engineers and the lab operations manager.  Projects Rylan has worked on were for the Bridge and Backpack, a water drainage project that consisted of materials testing with ASTM Standards and Testing/Research for Wind Blades and Wind Turbines. Along with having a job on campus he also has been involved with the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity since his freshman year and has been a part of Student Government and is a member of the Senior Skulls Honor Society.  Rylan is a strong mentor within his fraternity, honor society and to his friends and family.  He has multiple plans for after college, but his main goal is to achieve an ROV Engineering internship for next summer after graduation.

Project Manager

Jonathan Roy – Structural Thermoplastics Process Engineer

Advanced Structures and Composites Center

(207) 852-3438

Click here for Johnathan’s Bio

Project Sponsors

The University of Maine – Advanced Structures and Composites Center

Alfond Advanced Manufacturing Lab for Structural Thermoplastics