Development and verification of a resin film infusion/resin transfer molding simulation model for fabrication of advanced textile composites

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Virginia Tech


The objective of this study was to develop a two-dimensional computer model for the simulation of the resin transfer molding/resin film infusion processing of advanced composite materials. This computer simulation model is designed to provide aircraft structure and tool designers with a method of predicting the infiltration and curing behavior of a composite material component. For a given specified cure cycle, the computer model can be used to calculate the resin infiltration, resin viscosity, resin advancement, heat transfer within the component/tool assembly during processing and preform compaction.

Formulations of the resin flow problem are given using the finite element/control volume technique based on Darcy's Law of flow through porous media. This technique allows for the efficient numerical calculation of the advancing resin front within the preform materials. The heat transfer in the fabric preform and tooling is analyzed using a transient finite element method which included the effects of convection on the tooling surfaces. Compaction behavior of the tooling assembly is analyzed using a simplified isotropic form of the plane elasticity equations. All of these solutions were coupled together in a quasisteady state non-linear fashion inside the computer code.