Automated fiber placement (AFP) has replaced hand layup as the accepted way to produce composite aircraft structures such as the wing. But the individual layers of carbon fiber making up the complex laminate are still arranged the same way and so may not precisely align with the loads in the structure. In a conventional composite wing, each layer is placed relative to a “global zero,” usually a sweep angle, so that the 0-deg. fibers run straight from root to tip, crisscrossed by ...

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