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A Workflow for Liquid Composite Moulding Process Assessment

Casey Keulen, Christophe Mobuchon, Navid Zobeiry, Goran Fernlund and Anoush Poursartip

Abstract


Liquid composite moulding (LCM) processes are of great interest to the advanced composites industry as it provides a means of efficiently processing complex parts with a process that can be automated. To design an LCM process a number of decisions must be made including constituent material selection, injection pressure, processing temperature, tool design, and ancillary equipment selection among others. There is currently no comprehensive methodology/workflow used to assess and/or design these processes. This paper lays out a structured approach for designing them. This approach combines a number of experimental characterization and simulation techniques to estimate the cycle time of an LCM process. The workflow begins by characterizing the constituent materials. Experiments to determine resin viscosity and cure kinetics, and fiber preform permeability are performed. Process simulation is employed to estimate the mould fill time as a function of temperature and compared to the resin working time vs temperature. The processing temperature and infusion time can then be determined. Once the processing temperature is identified, thermochemical analysis is performed to determine to the overall cycle time. A detailed explanation of this methodology and case study are presented in this paper.

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