"Composite materials offer significant benefits over traditional engineering materials, combining low mass with increased stiffness and strength, making composite materials a very attractive option for engineers and manufacturers. However, commonly applied manufacturing techniques have been labour and skill intensive. This has significantly increased the usage of a range of processes known as liquid composite moulding (LCM), involving injection of resin into a compressed fibre reinforcement, capable of high-volume, high-quality production. Simulation of LCM processes offers significant advantages in process design, cycle time and setup cost reduction, however the practicality of existing simulation software is limited by the considerable time and resources required to obtain the necessary material data input.
The overall aim of the proposed project is to develop efficient techniques to characterise the permeability and compaction response of fibre reinforcements. These are the dominant material properties governing LCM processes, representing a material’s resistance to fluid flow and resistance to being compressed. Efficient characterisation techniques will benefit Europe through enabling cost-effective process simulation for the composites industry.
A number of work packages will be required to meet the project aim. Firstly: development of permeability and compaction measurement facilities at the Institute for Carbon Composites at TUM. These facilities will be used to conduct studies on fabric reinforcements to determine the dominant material parameters affecting permeability and compaction response. Significant consultation will take place to determine the requirements of a range of sectors within the European composites industry, assessing industrial requirements in regards accuracy and characterisation time and cost. The results from this study will be combined with the experimental studies to develop fast, efficient characterisation techniques."
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