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High pressure compression RTM - A new process for manufacturing high volume continuous fiber reinforced composites

: Chaudhari, R.; Schmidt, D.; Eisner, P.; Henning, F.

Society of Plastics Engineers -SPE-:
11th Annual Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition 2011, ACCE 2011 : Composites: Driving Design. Troy, Michigan, USA 13-15 September 2011
Red Hook, NY: Curran, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62276-886-8
Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) <11, 2011, Troy/Mich.>
Fraunhofer ICT ()

The current paper addresses High Pressure Compression Resin Transfer Molding (HP-CRTM) for the manufacturing of continuous fiber reinforced composites with high fiber volume content. The HP-CRTM process is a combination of resin transfer molding (RTM) and compression molding. In this process, the preform is placed into the mold cavity and then the mold is closed partially to obtain a small gap between the mold surface and the fiber preform. The resin is introduced through a suitable injection point into the gap and flows easily over the preform and may partially impregnate the preform as well. Once the required amount of resin is injected into the gap and the injection point is closed, the mold closes further and applies high compression pressure to squeeze the resin into the preform. In this step, the preform is compacted to achieve the desired part thickness and fiber volume fraction. The objective of the proposed study is to investigate the effects of parameters such as mold opening distance and fiber orientation on the quality of the HP-CRTM components. The influence of these process variables on the component quality and the mechanical properties is analyzed. Finally the applicability of the HP-CRTM process for high volume manufacturing is discussed.