Journal of Composite Materials vol:45 issue:7 pages:815-829
The simulation of composite manufacturing processes is a great aid to obtaining efficient production and high-quality parts. The mold and process design must allow for fast filling times as well as dry-spot free parts. Besides an accurate simulation of the resin flow through the reinforcement, the compaction response of the preform is also needed. The stress response of the textile to compaction has an influence on the local and global forces exerted on tooling. The numerical prediction of the clamping force helps to trade-off fast production times against affordable machinery. This article describes the accurate simulation of force controlled Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) and Compression RTM, and compares results of simulations with experimental data. A parametric study is performed in order to minimize the simulation time without compromising the accuracy of the results. The controlled force algorithms have been implemented within SimLCM, a code under development at the University of Auckland to address the liquid composite molding (LCM) family of manufacturing processes. With these new tools, the trade-off between production process time and equipment cost can be considered, and optimal process design solutions found.