A major barrier to high-rate manufacture of non-crimp fabric (NCF) preforms is the relatively low volume of research evaluating multiple ply forming strategies. This study presents an extension to the distributed magnetic clamping (DIMAC) method towards establishing flexible process control measures for multiple ply forming. A measure of wrinkling was devised to allow comparison across different stack thicknesses and the distributions of wrinkles were shown to correlate with process parameters in an experimental parametric study. Further, ply-bending mechanics were shown to have a dominant effect on the draw-in of compression folds, particularly when increasing the number of equivalent biaxial plies. However, by deploying targeted distributed clamps, three-ply, single-stroke strategies over a complex positive curvature geometry became viable. DIMAC is shown to facilitate the local adjustment of boundary conditions whilst offering flexibility in improving component quality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101107
JournalComposites Communications
Early online date23 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Gratitude is extended to EPSRC and UKRI for supporting the work carried out under the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) project (EP/R512424/1). Rajan Jagpal's PhD studentship is 50% funded by GKN Aerospace. The authors would like to particularly thank GKN Aerospace for providing industrial context and guidance. Prof. Richard Butler also holds the Royal Academy of Engineering - GKN Aerospace Research Chair.


  • Fabrics/textiles
  • Laminate mechanics
  • Preforming
  • Resin transfer moulding (RTM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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