Liquid Composite Moulding

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Liquid compos­ite mold­ing comprises all the compos­ite manu­fac­tur­ing meth­ods, where the liquid state matrix mater­ial (e.g. epoxy resin) is forced into the dry preformed rein­for­cing mater­ial (e.g. carbon fiber fabric). The main object­ive is to reach a full impreg­na­tion as the resin propag­ates between the fiber bundles and fibers. The impreg­na­tion driv­ing force is usually result­ing from pres­sure differ­ence. Resin trans­fer mold­ing (RTM) util­izes posit­ive oper­at­ing pres­sures, while in vacuum infu­sion the pres­sure is lower than the atmo­spheric pres­sure level. Vacuum assisted resin trans­fer mold­ing (VARTM) oper­ates with posit­ive injec­tion pres­sures, while the mold cavity is kept under vacuum. Positive oper­at­ing pres­sure tech­niques require matched mold­ing (two or more part molds), while vacuum infu­sion is usually done using a flex­ible membrane (e.g. poly­mer foil) on the mold.

Our company is cover­ing the whole processing range of liquid compos­ite mold­ing tech­niques. We are offer­ing solu­tions from raw mater­ial char­ac­ter­iz­a­tion, through process model­ing to compon­ent manufacturing.

Raw material characterization

Both resin and rein­force­ment mater­i­als should be char­ac­ter­ized to under­stand their influ­ence on the impreg­na­tion process. Resin prop­er­ties like viscos­ity build-up or degree of conver­sion in time at differ­ent temper­at­ures can be meas­ured. Reinforcement mater­i­als are char­ac­ter­ized by their permeab­il­ity at differ­ent fiber content ratio, geomet­rical distor­tion degree and/or stack­ing sequence (e.g. with flow enhan­cing layers).

Process modelling

We are able to model and optim­ize the whole liquid mould­ing process with the help of the PAM-RTM soft­ware, in which the whole liquid mold­ing processing chain is included. Reinforcement preform­ing, mold filling and curing can be simu­lated in 3D simu­la­tion envir­on­ment. The meas­ured resin and rein­force­ment prop­er­ties can be directly imple­men­ted and process optim­iz­a­tion can be done in a virtual environment.

Component manu­fac­tur­ing

AAC is able to manu­fac­ture samples/components by resin trans­fer mold­ing (RTM), vacuum assisted RTM and vacuum infu­sion. Our mobile injec­tion machine (injec­tion system from Tartler GmbH) can process a wide range of ther­moset resins. Resin injec­tions with constant flow rates (0-0.5 l/min) or constant pres­sures (up to 90 bar) at elev­ated temper­at­ures (up to 130°C) can be real­ized. Flow rate, temper­at­ures and pres­sures can be recor­ded in time, giving an oppor­tun­ity to verify the results of the process modeling.

liquid_composite_moudling_4Mould and Injection characteristics:

  • Size: 40 cm x 40 cm
  • Maximal curing temper­at­ure: 180 °C
  • Injection for 1K system: up to 0.5 l/min
  • Maximal pres­sure: up to 90 bars
  • Volume: 5 Liters pre-mixed resin-hardener