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Open AccessArticle

Modeling and Experimental Validation of the VARTM Process for Thin-Walled Preforms

1
Division of Material and Computational Mechanics, Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden
2
Division of Materials and Production, RISE SICOMP, SE-431 22 Mölndal, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2003; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122003
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
In this paper, recent shell model is advanced towards the calibration and validation of the Vacuum-assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) process in a novel way. The model solves the nonlinear and strongly coupled resin flow and preform deformation when the 3-D flow and stress problem is simplified to a corresponding 2-D problem. In this way, the computational efficiency is enhanced dramatically, which allows for simulations of the VARTM process of large scale thin-walled structures. The main novelty is that the assumptions of the neglected through-thickness flow and the restricted preform deformation along the normal of preform surface suffice well for the thin-walled VARTM process. The model shows excellent agreement with the VARTM process experiment. With good accuracy and high computational efficiency, the shell model provides an insight into the simulation-based optimization of the VARTM process. It can be applied to either determine locations of the gate and vents or optimize process parameters to reduce the deformation. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid composite molding; porous media theory; process modeling; fiber preform deformation; resin flow liquid composite molding; porous media theory; process modeling; fiber preform deformation; resin flow
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Wu, D.; Larsson, R.; Rouhi, M.S. Modeling and Experimental Validation of the VARTM Process for Thin-Walled Preforms. Polymers 2019, 11, 2003.

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