Patents by Inventor Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove

Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20180178990
    Abstract: Various adaptive apparatus and systems for automated handling of components such as composite plies are provided. In one embodiment, a ply manipulation tool module is provided that comprises a first shuttle including a first gripper and a first clamping element, and a second shuttle including a second gripper and a second clamping element. The first and second shuttles move with respect to one another along a path to position the first and second grippers to grip a ply and to position the first and second clamping elements outside the ply. In a particular embodiment, the ply manipulation tool module includes a lead screw and nut assemblies, the nut assemblies moving along the lead screw to position one or more grippers for gripping components. Ply manipulation tool assemblies comprising at least two modules also are provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2016
    Publication date: June 28, 2018
    Inventors: Dragan Filipovic, Sultan Shair, Mathias Ernst Messmer, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove
  • Publication number: 20180178991
    Abstract: Various adaptive apparatus and systems for automated handling of components such as composite plies are provided. In one embodiment, a ply manipulation system is provided that comprises an automated machine having an arm, and a ply manipulation tool attached to the arm of the automated machine. The ply manipulation tool includes a first shuttle including a first gripper, a second shuttle including a second gripper, and an actuator. The ply manipulation system further comprises a processor that automatically controls the actuator to move the first and second shuttles linearly with respect to one another to adapt the first and second grippers to a ply shape. In another embodiment, the first and second shuttles include one or more clamping elements moveable to a position to be deployed outside a perimeter of the ply. Methods for removing a ply from a sheet of material using a ply manipulation tool also are provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2016
    Publication date: June 28, 2018
    Inventors: Dragan Filipovic, Sultan Shair, Mathias Ernst Messmer, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove
  • Publication number: 20180147795
    Abstract: A method and an automatic layup system for making a stack of a plurality of composite plies are presented. The automatic layup system includes a stacking assembly located in a first plane and a layup tool located in a second plane parallel to the first plane. The stacking assembly and the layup tool are movable towards each other. The method includes the steps of (a) providing one or more composite sheets between the layup tool and the stacking assembly, (b) generating a first composite ply from the one or more composite sheets, (c) placing the first composite ply on the layup tool by the stacking assembly by bringing the stacking assembly and the layup tool close to each other, and (d) repeating the steps (b) and (c) for generating and placing a second composite ply on the first composite ply, which is placed on the layup tool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 28, 2016
    Publication date: May 31, 2018
    Inventors: Sultan Shair, Andreas Lutz, Martin Petersen, Matthew Hall Beaumont, Mathias Ernst Messmer, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Thomas Kluge, Christopher James Madsen
  • Publication number: 20180105241
    Abstract: A blade member includes a leading edge, a trailing edge, and a blade body extending therebetween. The blade member also includes a dovetail, a transition region, and a transition relief. The dovetail includes a dovetail chord line extending between an axially forward face of the dovetail and an axially aft face of the dovetail. The dovetail chord line has a dovetail chord length. The transition region is formed between the blade body and the dovetail. The blade body and the transition region form a blade body transition chord line at the interface of the blade body and the transition region which has a blade body transition chord length. The transition relief includes a geometric relief in at least one of a forward and an aft end of the transition region and the dovetail. The dovetail chord length is less than the blade body transition chord length.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Peggy Lynn Baehmann
  • Publication number: 20180105246
    Abstract: An apparatus and system for a propeller assembly are provided. In one aspect, marine propeller assembly includes a plurality of circumferentially-spaced blades that each include a dovetail having a radially inner surface. The marine propeller assembly also includes a hub including a plurality of circumferentially-spaced dovetail receiving portions configured to receive a corresponding dovetail of the plurality of blades. At least one gap is formed between the radially inner surface and at least a portion of the dovetail receiving portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Peggy Lynn Baehmann
  • Publication number: 20180105243
    Abstract: An apparatus and system for a marine propeller assembly are provided. A forward retention member that may be used with the marine propeller assembly includes a planar base, a drive shaft engagement end opposite the planar base, and a conic body extending therebetween along a centerline normal to the planar base. The forward retention member also includes at least one protuberance extending radially away from a surface of the conic body, the protuberance extending axially from the planar base arcuately convergent to a predetermined point between the planar base and the drive shaft engagement end.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Peggy Lynn Baehmann, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove
  • Publication number: 20180105240
    Abstract: A marine propeller composite blade an axially extending composite blade root including a dovetail wound in a partial spiral or helix around a centerline. Dovetail tapering down in width between clockwise and counter-clockwise dovetail sides of dovetail from dovetail bottom in a radially outwardly direction away from centerline. Marine propeller may include composite blade roots mounted in axially extending hub slots in a metallic hub, axially extending wedges disposed within the hub slots circumferentially between the blade roots and one of clockwise slot sides and counter-clockwise slot sides, and the wedges abutting the blade roots and the one of clockwise slot sides and counter-clockwise slot sides. Wedges and hub slots wound in a partial spiral or helix around a centerline. Radial retention means for radially retaining wedges in hub slots may include bolts engaging wedges and screwed into threaded holes in hub.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Peggy Lynn Baehman, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove
  • Publication number: 20180105244
    Abstract: A propeller assembly that includes a hub having an outer radial surface and a plurality of wedge retaining members removably coupled to the hub. The plurality of wedge retaining members are spaced circumferentially about the outer radial surface such that a dovetail slot is defined between adjacent wedge retaining members. The assembly also includes at least one propeller blade including a root portion having a dovetail profile. The root portion is coupled to the hub and positioned within the dovetail slot. The plurality of wedge retaining members are configured to restrict radial movement of the root portion within the dovetail slot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Peggy Lynn Baehmann, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove
  • Publication number: 20180105245
    Abstract: An apparatus and system for a marine propeller assembly are provided. An aft retention member that may be used with the marine propeller assembly includes a base, an opposing nose and a conic body extending therebetween along a centerline normal to the base. The aft retention member also includes at least one protuberance extending radially away from a surface of the conic body. The protuberance extends axially along a surface of the aft retention member from the base arcuately convergent to a predetermined point between the base and a tip of the nose.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Peggy Lynn Baehmann, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove
  • Publication number: 20180105242
    Abstract: A propeller assembly is provided. The propeller assembly includes a central hub including a forward end, an aft end, and a hub body extending therebetween along an axis of rotation of the central hub. The propeller assembly further includes a first retention member including a first radial interference member, the first retention member coupled to the forward end of the central hub and a second retention member including a second radial interference member, the second retention member coupled to the aft end of the central hub. The propeller assembly also includes a fairing platform extending between the first retention member and the second retention member, wherein the fairing platform is retained by the first radial interference member and by the second radial interference member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Peggy Lynn Baehmann
  • Publication number: 20170341278
    Abstract: A system for forming stacked material includes a housing defining an interior space. The housing includes a bottom wall and a side wall coupled to the bottom wall. At least one tool is configured to shape the stacked material. The at least one tool is disposed within the interior space. A membrane extends at least partially over the bottom wall and is spaced a distance from the bottom wall. The membrane is configured to move towards the bottom wall. At least one intensifier mechanism is disposed in the interior space and is configured to induce a force against a portion of the stacked material and against the at least one tool as the membrane is moved towards the bottom wall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2016
    Publication date: November 30, 2017
    Inventors: Sultan Shair, Martin Petersen, Andreas Lutz, Krishnan Balaji Thattai Parthasarathy, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Thomas Kluge, James Duvall Bollacker, Anja Lena Nieratschker
  • Patent number: 9777593
    Abstract: A hybrid metal and composite spool includes metal rings on an outer diameter of a composite spool shell. Metal rings may include features such as annular or axial dovetail slots. Adhesive layers may be between the metal rings and composite shell which may be connected by a shrink bonded joint. The metal rings may include a single seal tooth ring with an annular radially extending seal tooth. A method for fabricating the spool may include fabricating one or more metal rings with the features therein, positioning the metal rings in place on an outer surface of an uncured composite spool shell of the spool before curing the shell, and curing the shell with the one or more metal rings positioned in place. Alternatively, rings may be heated to a temperature at least sufficient to slide rings over a cured composite shell, and allowed to cool and shrink onto shell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Bowden Kirkpatrick, Nicholas Joseph Kray, Todd Alan Anderson, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Po-Ching Yeh
  • Publication number: 20170225407
    Abstract: An automated fiber placement (AFP) system includes a tool head with a compaction roller and a first variable heat source. The compaction roller is configured to receive at least one of a fiber and a plurality of fibers formed as a laydown tape, and is controlled to apply the laydown tape to a workpiece at a predetermined speed and direction. The first variable heat source is configured to apply a first amount of heat to the laydown tape. The first amount of heat applied is related to the predetermined speed. The AFP system further includes a second variable heat source configured to apply a second amount of heat to the workpiece. The second amount of heat applied is related to at least one of: a position on the workpiece, a thickness of the workpiece at that position, and a separation distance between the second variable heat source and the workpiece.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 5, 2016
    Publication date: August 10, 2017
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove
  • Patent number: 9682756
    Abstract: A propeller assembly includes a central hub including a first forward-facing end, a second aft-facing end, a hub body extending therebetween, and a plurality of channels spaced circumferentially around the central hub. The propeller assembly further includes blade wedges configured to be inserted into and to retain blades within the channels of the central hub. Each blade includes a blade dovetail including a dovetail face configured to engage a respective channel sidewall and/or a respective wedge sidewall. The dovetail face includes a bearing portion that engages the respective channel sidewall and/or the respective wedge sidewall and a clearance portion that is spaced from the respective channel sidewall and/or the respective wedge sidewall by a clearance gap during a first loading of the propeller assembly and that engages the respective channel sidewall or wedge sidewall during a second loading, the second loading greater than the first loading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Nicholas Joseph Kray, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Peggy Lynn Baehmann
  • Publication number: 20170043539
    Abstract: An automated in-line feed-through system and method, integrates the ability to control one or more variables during part fabrication with the layup of one or more fiber tows to form a composite part. The system includes an automated layup system configured to receive a feed-through of one or more fiber tows as an input material. The automated in-line feed-through system further includes a controller configured to respond to measurement data obtained by one or more samplings of the input material and/or a plurality of laid up plies that form a laminate. The controller in response to the obtained measurement data provides adjustment of the feed-through of the one or more fiber tows to compensate for a variation in one or more of the weights from a reference weight.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 12, 2015
    Publication date: February 16, 2017
    Inventors: Christopher James Madsen, Ram Kumar Upadhyay, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Thomas Kluge, Mathias Ernst Messmer, Martin Petersen
  • Publication number: 20160245086
    Abstract: A hybrid metal and composite spool includes metal rings on an outer diameter of a composite spool shell. Metal rings may include features such as annular or axial dovetail slots. Adhesive layers may be between the metal rings and composite shell which may be connected by a shrink bonded joint. The metal rings may include a single seal tooth ring with an annular radially extending seal tooth. A method for fabricating the spool may include fabricating one or more metal rings with the features therein, positioning the metal rings in place on an outer surface of an uncured composite spool shell of the spool before curing the shell, and curing the shell with the one or more metal rings positioned in place. Alternatively, rings may be heated to a temperature at least sufficient to slide rings over a cured composite shell, and allowed to cool and shrink onto shell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 23, 2015
    Publication date: August 25, 2016
    Inventors: Bowden Kirkpatrick, Nicholas Joseph Kray, Todd Alan Anderson, Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Po-Ching Yeh
  • Patent number: 8992200
    Abstract: A resin infusion apparatus and system, layup system comprising the same, and methods of using these are provided. The resin infusion apparatus comprises a hollow cylinder having a plurality of pores perforating an arcuate surface thereof. The interior of the cylinder is provided with one or more flow restrictors that assist in controlling the flow out of the pores of the cylinder. Laminates made of prepregs prepared using the apparatus and/or system may thus be essentially free of voids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Thomas Koerwien, Shu Ching Quek, Thomas Miebach
  • Patent number: 8591796
    Abstract: In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, methods for molding and curing of composite articles are provided. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a molding apparatus including an elastic layer disposed on a rigid support and a mold disposed on the elastic layer and the support. In one embodiment, the mold includes an inner surface, the inner surface further including a molding surface, and wherein a first surface of the elastic layer and the inner surface of the mold define a molding chamber. In one embodiment, a prepreg is further disposed within the molding chamber, wherein the prepreg is disposed on the first surface of the elastic layer. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a fluid via a fluid inlet against a second surface of the elastic layer, thereby expanding the elastic layer against the inner surface of the mold, and pushing the prepreg against the molding surface of the mold to form a molded composite article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Bruno Betoni Parodi, Julian Thomas O'Flynn, Thomas Kluge, Thomas Koerwien
  • Patent number: 8522849
    Abstract: An automated in-line feed-through system integrating the delivery, application and infusion of a resin to one or more fiber tows and layup of the one or more infused fiber tows to form a composite structure. The system includes an automated resin delivery, deposition and infusion system configured to deposit the resin on one or more fiber tows and form the infused fiber tows. The system integrates an automated layup system including a compaction roller, a guide roller coupled to an extending cylinder, and an auxiliary roller configured to adhere the one or more infused fiber tows to a substrate. The system further includes a controller configured to control system parameters, including the control of tension of the one or more infused fiber tows within the automated layup system. Other aspects of the automated in-line manufacturing system are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Mile Ostojic
  • Publication number: 20130049266
    Abstract: In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, methods for molding and curing of composite articles are provided. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a molding apparatus including an elastic layer disposed on a rigid support and a mold disposed on the elastic layer and the support. In one embodiment, the mold includes an inner surface, the inner surface further including a molding surface, and wherein a first surface of the elastic layer and the inner surface of the mold define a molding chamber. In one embodiment, a prepreg is further disposed within the molding chamber, wherein the prepreg is disposed on the first surface of the elastic layer. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a fluid via a fluid inlet against a second surface of the elastic layer, thereby expanding the elastic layer against the inner surface of the mold, and pushing the prepreg against the molding surface of the mold to form a molded composite article.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 25, 2011
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Applicant: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Stefaan Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Bruno Betoni Parodi, Julian Thomas O'Flynn, Thomas Kluge, Thomas Koerwien