Active RTM process management based on phenomenological models
Model-based manufacturing of fiber-reinforced polymer composites is based on transferring process- related knowledge from the level of process modelling to the level of active process management. This requires fundamental understanding of the most significant mechanisms in terms of phenomenological models. While the approach is applicable to a wide range of composite manufacturing technologies, this work focusses on the resin transfer moulding (RTM) process. There, three major steps can be identified from a processing mechanism point of view: (i) preform compaction, (ii) preform impregnation and (iii) resin curing.
The work at hand particularly addresses the preform impregnation and resin curing stages of the RTM process on the example of an automotive roof bar. The preform impregnation stage is realized by active process management such that an optimal level of flow front velocity is guaranteed, which is beneficial with respect to the final porosity in the composite part.