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Process-induced microstructure in industrial SMC compression : quantitative descriptive analysis and predictability of a state-of-the-art numerical model

Abstract : Compression moulding of SMC is a processing technology for reactive polymers reinforced with chopped fibres in a composite material. It involves both the flow and deformation of the raw material to transform it into its final shape, thanks of heat and pressure applied to a matched metal moulds mounted under press. The final fibre orientation state plays an important role in the mechanical performance of the SMC part. Adapting the shape and position of SMC charge in the mould, as well the material microstructure in the final part leads to an optimization of both structural properties of the part and manufacturing process. A major need is to understand how the flow affects the structural characteristics of moulded parts. In this thesis a 2.5D non-isothermal numerical model that includes the latest theoretical contributions to the squeeze flow modeling has been developed. Model predictions are compared with physical observations and mechanical properties on lab-scale specimens but also on industrial-scale SMC parts. It is shown that the current theoretical models cannot captured some mechanisms revealed by the industrial-scale SMC compression. Among them, the asymmetric behaviour of the material as well as its strong transformation during the flow, are highlighted and discussed.
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Laura Oter Carbonell. Process-induced microstructure in industrial SMC compression : quantitative descriptive analysis and predictability of a state-of-the-art numerical model. Mechanics of the structures [physics.class-ph]. École centrale de Nantes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018ECDN0052⟩. ⟨tel-02967077⟩

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