Type of Document Dissertation Author Thagard, James Robert Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-11182003-210510 Title Investigation and Development of the Resin Infusion between Double Flexible Tooling (RIDFT) Process for Composite Fabrication Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Zhiyong Liang Committee Chair Ben Wang Committee Member Ching-Jen Chen Committee Member Chuck Zhang Committee Member James Simpson Committee Member Keywords
- Resin Infusion
Date of Defense 2003-11-10 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis research presents a study on an innovative composite manufacturing process called Resin Infusion between Double Flexible Tooling (RIDFT). In this process, resin is infused between two flexible tools through fiber reinforcements in a two-dimensional flat shape. The wetted reinforcements and flexible tooling are then formed over a mold into a specified part shape by use of vacuum. The RIDFT process has potentials for rapidly and affordably producing large composite parts. This research details the development of the industrial RIDFT machine from its design to its fabrication and to the demonstration of its use. This new machine uses new techniques, integrating vacuum sealing, dynamic supporting and temporary resin distribution channels to achieve industrial application requirements.
A design of experiment (DOE) approach is used to perform testing and analysis to validate the ability of the RIDFT process to form various geometries and identify limitations in formability and issues with wrinkling. Four specific fiber textile structures were studied in their ability to form over a half sphere of varying radii and a rectangular mold of varying corner radii. The number of fiber layers was also studied to understand the effects on forming. Fiber textile structure and fiber layers were shown to be significant for their influence on formability and wrinkling.
To better understand the forming mechanics within the RIDFT process and to predict the formability of a desired geometry, a simulation model was required. The PAMFORM software was chosen for modeling because it is a general-purpose finite element package for the industrial virtual manufacturing of non-metallic sheet forming. PAMFORM is unique in its ability to model a variety of forming processes.
This research details the development of the simulation model for the RIDFT process based on PAMFORM and describes the validation of the model through experimental methods. This development includes the modeling of multiple layers of resin-wetted reinforcements, silicone
diaphragms and part geometries, as well as the modeling of contact interfaces and forming pressures. The systematic investigation has been done for characterizing fabric drapability, rubber deformation and friction interactions for developing the simulation model. The model results are then compared against experimental results for model validation. This validated model will allow the ability to predict drapability and fiber deformation during the process forming. The results of the simulation reveal mechanisms and influence factors of the drapability and wrinkling of the RIDFT process.
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