Investigation of VARTM Resin Flow Through 3D Near Net-Shape Aerospace Preforms

Title: Investigation of VARTM Resin Flow Through 3D Near Net-Shape Aerospace Preforms
Authors: Proulx, Francois
Date: 2016
Abstract: The manufacturing of complex aerospace carbon epoxy components remains dominated by processes involving prepreg cured in autoclaves. This manufacturing route is expensive, not only because prepreg precursor materials have short shelf lives and require refrigerated storage, but also because large autoclaves carry very high operating costs and are in very intensive usage, with limited worldwide availability. Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding (VARTM) is an interesting alternative for the manufacturing of near net-shape components as it reduces the costs related to material storage and removes the need for autoclave cure. The production of parts with complex geometry using VARTM is highly influenced by the kinetics of resin flow into preforms upon infusion, and on optimization of the infusion system for speed, consistency and robustness. In this work, the permeability of carbon fibre textile stacks and of equivalent glass fibre stacks was probed in manufacturing replicate trials, with the aim of bettering the production process. Trials were conducted using a substitute silicon oil infused through glass fibre and carbon preforms to enable capture of the evolving flow fronts on camera. The trials covered the effects of preform geometry, port and vent location, and stitching on resin flow. Tooling necessary for conducting the trials was designed and built. The timing of operations was determined in order to optimise the manufacturing process.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -