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High speed reactive RTM with on-line mixing in dualscale fibrous reinforcements : Experimental and numerical developments and investigations

Abstract : High Speed Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) is a promising composite manufacturing process fitting automotive industry requirements to produce complex structural parts with a perspective of short cycle times. However, cycle time reductions are a real challenge. In this process, a resin mixed on-line with curing agents is injected in the cavity of a mold containing a fibrous reinforcement. This flow of reactive resin generates acomplex flow pattern and strong thermo-chemo rheological couplings. Due to the high sensitivity of the resin cure, and the tight cycle times, prediction of the optimal injection strategy is very difficult and very expensive to conduct experimentally. In this context, two goals where followed in this work: 1. Identify and quantify experimentally the mechanisms, related to the process or to the reinforcement, influencing the reactive RTMprocess with on-line mixing and 2. Develop a numerical simulation method in a view of introducing the identified mechanisms in the industrial software PAMCOMPOSITE developed by ESI Group. Identification and quantification of the mechanisms were realized thanks to experimental investigations and numerical simulations. A new experimental setup has been developed for the investigation of the mechanism of intra-tow resin storage through macro-scale and micro-scale observations. Additionally, a numerical method has been developed to simulate the reactive flow of a resin in single and dual scale porous materials. This method allowed both to investigate local mechanisms difficult to study experimentally and prepare the transfer to the industrial software of ESI.
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Mathieu Imbert. High speed reactive RTM with on-line mixing in dualscale fibrous reinforcements : Experimental and numerical developments and investigations. Mechanics of the solides [physics.class-ph]. École centrale de Nantes, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017ECDN0017⟩. ⟨tel-02124123⟩

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