Online Store: 39th ISTC | Cincinnati OH | Oct 29-Nov 1, 2007
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Flow Simulations and Process Monitoring to Guide Advanced VARTM Manufacturing...

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The Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding process has gained popularity due to the affordable parts that have been made. The complexity and quality in these parts is now approaching that found in traditional aerospace processes. However, the progression of the resin through the mold is complex and was historically not well understood. Therefore, traditionally a trial and error approach was used based on a foundation of tribal knowledge to produce composite parts of good quality. For this reason, during the past decade, significant academic research has been applied to advanced processing techniques for composite materials manufacturing. One main research thrust has been the simulation of the resin progression through the fibrous preform. This approach enables understanding of how the resin flows through the mold, and reduces the trial and error approach to infusion design. A second area of research has been on-line monitoring of the infusion process. By collecting resin mass-flow data during the infusion, it allows for both a validation of the numerical predictions as well as a quality measure from part to part. In this work, flow simulations were carried out to design an injection scheme which was applied to a real world composite component, a representative helicopter fairing. In-process monitoring was used to validate the predictions of the simulation. 1

Authors: Jeffrey M. Lawrence1, Scott T. Holmes1, Michael Louderback1, Addison Williams1, Pavel Simacek2, Suresh G. Advani2 1V System Composites Anaheim, CA & Philadelphia, PA 2University of Delaware, Center for Composite Materials Newark, DE

Conference: 39th ISTC - Cincinnati OH - Oct 29-Nov 1 / 2007

SKU/Code: 39ISTC-109

Pages: 12

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