Modeling and Experimental Validation of the VARTM Process for Thin-Walled Preforms
Journal article, 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.
porous media theory
liquid composite molding
fiber preform deformation