High Performance Composite
Design and Manufacturing
Canada Research Chair - Tier 1

Development of new resin injection process for composite manufacturing in the case of complex geometries

Professors : François Trochu (coordinator)
Edu Ruiz
Project coordinator : Philippe Causse, Ph.D. student

Abstract

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The project is part of a program aiming at developing a new injection process for fast manufacturing of high performance composites (thermoset resin + fiber reinforcement). The specific objective of the work is to study the dimensional stability (thickness variation, distortion) of complex parts having strong curvatures. Based on an experimental approach, the project includes the fabrication of parts with two curved regions (right angle) with a specially designed mold.

The flexible injection process allows a controlled deformation of the upper wall of the mold. Thus, the geometry of the final part is the result of a consolidation stage of the saturated reinforcement. To investigate further this consolidation phenomenon in curved sections, the parts are cut and polished to obtain scanned images of longitudinal cross-sections. Preliminary results indicate that the preforming stage has a direct influence on the geometry of the final part. For example, a poor dimensioning of the preform creates resin-rich zones in the curved regions.

Image analysis is also performed with a special program developed with the Matlab software. Thickness profiles thus obtained show significant variations in curved regions. These results indicate that flat and curved regions exhibit different compaction behavior.

Future work will investigate the possible influence of the observed defects (resin-rich zones, thickness variations) on the distortion of the part after demolding (spring-in of curved sections).