The proposed innovation is a process simulation tool for thin ply composites. This simulation tool will represent major process attributes and allow users to make low risk, high quality parts. Furthermore, this tool will help to guide selection of tooling materials and processing conditions to avoid unwanted distortion, which is an issue that plagues thin ply composite parts. Phase II will focus on expanding the developed Process Induced Distortion (PID) simulation workflow, configuration and setup tool, and material characterizations to additional thermoset composite part & tooling designs and new thermoplastics composite based part configurations using Continuous Compression Modeling (CCM) processing based on Convergent’s COMPRO framework.
Using COMPRO with ABAQUS or ANSYS, the setup tool, methodology, workflow, and necessary characterizations (material, process conditions, and boundary conditions) the approach will be capable of capturing the manufacturing process-induced deformations in thin-ply composite structures. The proposed improvements will result in a better understanding of the contribution of material selection, material property evolution, tooling material properties, tool part interaction, and process conditions to the internal stress evolution and final part distortion. Thermoplastic-specific properties like crystallization morphology will be characterized over the process range of interest to quantify their impact on part distortion related to the CCM process. This understanding will be used to guide material, tool, and process changes to reduce variation and meet final part geometric requirements. This methodology and associated material characterizations, once validated, can be applied to similar structures and materials, both existing and future, considered by government and industry reducing development time (both in design and manufacturing test trials) where trade-off between geometry, performance, cycle time and costs are considered.
Reduced overall distortion and variation for a range thermoset or thermoplastic composite tubular mast geometries, materials, and manufacturing techniques. Material characterizations will be of benefit for use in the simulation of part and process and design optimization of any part/tool/process configuration developed using the same or similar materials. Simulation methodologies and tools developed for CCM processes can be used to analyze and optimize part and process designs for a wide range of both space, air, and ground based applications.
Characterized material models can be used in the simulation and optimization of process and part designs of any part / tool /process configuration developed using the same or similar materials. Methodologies developed to simulate and optimize CCM processes and part designs can result in performance and yield improvements in any application where CCM processes are applicable.