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Thermal and Flow Analysis of a Resin Transfer Molded Composite Cylinder

Golestanian, H., Ziaei-Rad, S.

International Journal of Engineering Science, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 141-149, 2004



This paper presents the results of mold filling and cures analyses of a Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process. Three dimensional mold filling and cure analyses have been performed to model resin transfer molding of a hollow composite cylinder. Fiberglass and carbon fiber mats with EPON826 epoxy resin composites are considered. Numerical models are developed in commercial finite element software to simulate resin flow into a mold of cylindrical shape. The cylindrical part has inner and outer diameters of 9 and 10 centimeters, respectively while its length is 100 centimeters. Resin flow through fiber mats is modeled as flow through porous media with Darcy's law. The effects of reinforcement type on mold filling times are investigated. In modeling the composite cure cycle, three-dimensional energy and species equations are solved in the mold domain using a finite difference method. Thermal and cure histories of the composite part are determined in the cure cycle. Based on the results of this investigation the injection cycle of the process is the most time consuming part in the manufacturing of these composite parts. This information can help in the design of the mold, selection of injection pressure, and the cure cycle parameters prior to part manufacture.
Resin Transfer Molding, Mold Filling, Flow Through Porous Media, Thermal and Cure analyses


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