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Analysis of convective transfer around simple molds inside a model autoclave

Abstract : In recent years, the use of high performance and lightweight composites materials has increased considerably in many industrial sectors. However, the temperature distribution within composite parts produced using the current manufacturing methods plays a key role in determining the parts quality at the end of the process. Among the existing various fabrication methods, the autoclave molding is considered as one of the best methods to manufacture advanced and high quality composite parts. During autoclave molding, heat transfer between the composite parts and the surroundings is strongly coupled with the flow field around their molds and modeled through the convective heat transfer coefficient. The purpose of this study is therefore to develop a new approach for performing experimental measurements in order to analyze the local velocity field and convective heat transfer coefficient distribution around simple and representative industrial molds. The implemented experimental approach is based essentially on the use of a reduced scale autoclave designed thanks to similarity laws, and instrumented by means of non-intrusive measuring instruments such as Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and infrared imaging. Furthermore, Computational Fluid Dynamics calculations of the flow field and convective heat transfer were performed using ANSYS Fluent 16.0®. This local investigation has revealed a non-uniform distribution of the convective heat transfer coefficient around the molds. This heterogeneity can directly impact the parts quality during an autoclave process in view of high temperature gradient. Furthermore, the study has shown the presence of shadowing effects during the process of several molds together which can lead to production of composite pieces with different qualities. An optimization study has permitted to propose an optimal geometric design of the supports of the molds that allows the intensification of the convective heat transfer coefficients and the reduction of the heterogeneities. The experimental and the numerical results were in good agreement, leading then to the validation of the performed numerical simulations.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02520243, version 1

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Taleb Ghamlouch. Analysis of convective transfer around simple molds inside a model autoclave. Thermics [physics.class-ph]. Université de Nantes, 2018. English. ⟨tel-02520243⟩

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