Numerical simulation of injection/compression liquid composite molding. Part 1. Mesh generation

K. M. Pillai, C. L. Tucker, F. R. Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents a numerical simulation of injection/compression liquid composite molding, where the fiber preform is compressed to a desired degree after an initial charge of resin has been injected into the mold. Due to the possibility of an initial gap at the top of the preform and out-of-plane heterogeneity in the multi-layered fiber preform, a full three-dimensional (3D) flow simulation is essential. We propose an algorithm to generate a suitable 3D finite element mesh, starting from a two-dimensional shell mesh representing the geometry of the mold cavity. Since different layers of the preform have different compressibilities, and since properties such as permeability are a strong function of the degree of compression, a simultaneous prediction of preform compression along with the resin flow is necessary for accurate mold-filling simulation. The algorithm creates a coarser mechanical mesh to simulate compression of the preform, and a finer flow mesh to simulate the motion of the resin in the preform and gap. Lines connected to the top and bottom plates of the mold, called spines, are used as conduits for the nodes. A method to generate a surface parallel to a given surface, thereby maintaining the thickness of the intermediate space, is used to construct the layers of the preform in the mechanical mesh. The mechanical mesh is further subdivided along the spines to create the flow mesh. Examples of the three-dimensional meshes generated by the algorithm are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials

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