Simulations of an Infrared Composite Curing Process

Abstract : Using IR energy is an efficient method of curing composites. In this paper, we study IR interactions with the composite, which is placed in an IR oven. The liquid resin infusion technique is used for the impregnation process of fibers with resin. Numerical simulations of the curing process for a carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy (RTM6) system are presented. In-lab software called Rayheat based on ray tracing algorithms and developed in Matlab is used to compute the radiative heat flux that impacts the composite. A three-dimensional numerical model is developed in the finite element software Comsol Multiphysics, where the heat-balance equation is coupled with the cure kinetic model of the resin. The computed radiative heat flux is exported to Comsol Multiphysics and imposed as a boundary condition on the top surface of the composite. This numerical model allows calculation of the temperature distribution in the composite during curing, which is a key parameter that affects its mechanical properties. We can predict also the evolution of the degree of cure as function of time.
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Sawsane Nakouzi, Johann Pancrace, Fabrice Schmidt, Yannick Le Maoult, Florentin Berthet. Simulations of an Infrared Composite Curing Process. Advanced Engineering Materials, Wiley-VCH Verlag, 2011, Materials Process Engineering: Nantes 2010, 13 (7), pp.604-608. ⟨10.1002/adem.201000344⟩. ⟨hal-01716274⟩

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