Compression Resin Transfer Molding (C-RTM) Simulation Using a Coupled Fluid-solid Approach

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17 Nov 2017 Composites

Composite materials are being used at an increasing rate in the automotive industry due to their superior mechanical properties at low densities leading to lightweight components.  Continuing this trend requires the identification of manufacturing processes for these components that have short cycle times along with delivering reproducible parts.  The modeling of these processes is essential in order to prevent the excessive experimentation currently required to develop the process parameters.  One of the manufacturing processes currently under consideration is compression resin transfer molding (C-RTM).  Recently, General Motors and ESI, NA Group have been working together in developing a state of the art computational tool for process simulation of composites in a project supported by the Department of Energy (DOE). This section of work on the development and validation of a simulation tool for the C-RTM process is under the broad scope of the above DOE project.  Current development for C-RTM simulation introduces two new technologies embedded into the current PAM-RTM solver:

  • Fluid-Solid mechanics coupling to determine the preform deformations during the compression-injection process, and
  • An Inter-Penetrating Mesh providing the ability to handle the vanishing gap during the closing of the mold.

This paper will focus on the development and validation of the proposed simulation software using resin flow experiments in a truncated pyramid tool manufactured at General Motors Research and Development Labs.


Arnaud Dereims - ESI US R&D Inc., 32605 W 12 Mile Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334, USA. Selina Zhao, William Rodgers, Venkat Aitharaju - General Motors Global Research and Development, Warren, MI, 48092, USA. Hang Yu, Praveen Pasupuleti, Mark Doroudian - ESI North America Inc., 32605 W 12 Mile Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334, USA.

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