National Composites Centre showcases its Design and Simulation capability in Composites in Manufacturing Magazine

The National Composites Centre and ESI are collaborating to enable the delivery of winning solutions in the field of composite materials. Using ESI’s range of simulation industry-oriented solutions, the manufacturing processes of composite parts can be realistically simulated from end to end. The benefit is being clearly demonstrated at the National Composites Centre (NCC) where ESI has been collaborating to apply predictive simulation technology to Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM) processes, such as Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM).

Miroslav Stojkovic, Engineering Capability Manager at the NCC says,”The composites manufacturing process is developed via iterative educated trials. The benefit of using simulation is that you perform virtual development on a computer rather than on the shop floor. It defines the manufacturing process.”

Virtual Prototyping is also used for structural analysis, to assess the strength of composite parts and predict residual stresses and distortions before any layup is started, again saving both time and money. Tooling design is one of the most critical processes in the composite product definition. By applying simulation to the RTM process, the tooling design and process strategy can be enhanced through the analysis of inlet and vent gate type and location, tool heating strategy, and injection pressures. “Such parameters are defined in order to control the resin flow front, avoid dry spots, optimise the injection time, understand tool heat flux, and avoid excessive exothermic temperatures,” adds Mr Stojkovic.

ESI and the NCC have been using ESI PAMCOMPOSITES to predict and resolve problems in press forming, and its distortion module to understand and manage thermal distortion. There’s still work to be done convincing industrials of the significant benefit of using simulation during tool development. Addressing that need, ESI and the National Composites Centre continue to explore and promote opportunities that Virtual Prototyping brings to the manufacturing industry.

Check out the full article in the September/October edition of Composites in Manufacturing Magazine

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