The present paper examines the analysis and simulation of the vacuum assisted resin transfer molding process (VARTM). VARTM differs from the conventional resin transfer molding (RTM) in that the thickness of the preform varies during injection affecting permeability and fill time. First, a governing equation for VARTM is analytically developed from the fundamental continuity condition, and used to show the relation between parameters in VARTM. This analytical work is followed by the development of a numerical 1-D/2-D solution, based on the flow simulation software LIMS, which can be used to predict flow and time dependent thickness of the preform by introducing models for compaction and permeability. Finally, the results of a VARTM experimental plan, focusing on the study of the influence of outlet pressure on compaction and fill time, are correlated with both the analytical and the numerical work. The present work also proposes an explanation for the similarities between VARTM and RTM and shows when modeling VARTM and RTM can result in an oversimplification.
Use of Resin Transfer Molding Simulation to Predict Flow, Saturation, and Compaction in the VARTM Process
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Fluids Engineering Division March 20, 2003; revised manuscript received October 30, 2003. Associate Editor: D. Siginer
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Correia , N. C., Robitaille , F., Long , A. C., Rudd , C. D., Sˇima´cˇek , P., and Advani, S. G. (May 3, 2004). "Use of Resin Transfer Molding Simulation to Predict Flow, Saturation, and Compaction in the VARTM Process ." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. March 2004; 126(2): 210–215. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1669032
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