ProTHiC – Process Simulation and Tool Compensation Methodology for High Temperature Composite Processes

In this project, a complete simulation chain for a high temperature manufacturing process is developed to support the tool design process.

Project Partners
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (Koordinator), Nexam Chemical AB, Alpex Technologies GmbH, GKN Aerospace (Topic Manager) 

01.11.2018 – 31.10.2021

Funding authority
European Commission

The need to develop ever more efficient and fuel-saving aircrafts leads to an increased use of composite materials in structural and highly stressed components in aviation. In the ProThiC project, a part of the aircraft turbine will be built from carbon fiber reinforced plastics. The use of plastics, which are designed for operating temperatures above 300°C requires processing at high temperatures. The design of the manufacturing tools is particularly important, due to the thermal expansion in the process. This design process is supported by a continuous process simulation. By calculating process influences on the final component, complex and expensive post-processing steps can be reduced.

The diagram shows the method, which is applied in the project for the process simulation chain, using the example of an L-profile. Starting from an initial tool geometry, the draping behavior of the dry carbon fabric is investigated. In addition to the fiber orientation, the thickness distribution is also determined, which is used to create the 3D model. With this geometry, a compaction simulation is carried out, which enables a prediction of the distribution of the final fiber volume content. In the injection simulation, the filling behavior during impregnation with the plastic is investigated. The curing simulation allows the calculation of internal stresses during curing. The release of these stresses can lead to component distortion, which is used for tool compensation. The LCC focuses on the development of a new compaction model and the investigation of compaction effects on the subsequent filling behavior.

Bublitz, D.; Angstl, M.; Hartmann, M.; Drechsler, K.: Implementation of a viscoelastic material model to predict the compaction response of dry carbon fiber preforms. 30th SICOMP Conference - Manufacturing and Design of Composites, 2019

This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 821019. This publication reflects only the author’s views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.