Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware

Research Summary

Assessing Composites Manufacturability and Automated Distribution Media Generation

Authors: Erik Andres


 Use finite element analysis to assess the feasibility of manufacturing a composite component
 Use geometric and LIMS analysis to automatically generate an optimized distribution media plan.


• CME: Composites Manufacturability Evaluation
o CME reads mesh files and returns feedback on manufacturability via LIMS simulations and geometric analysis
o Information on Infusion methods, vent areas, racetracking sites, fill time, and other details are provided in a detailed report

Coarse Mesh Generation Algorithm

• Creates a coarse mesh to reduce the run time of DM algorithms
• Algorithm compares distance between centroids of elements, and if the distance is below a certain threshold(varies based on desired mesh density), the elements are grouped together

Fast-Pass Generation of Distribution Media

 Utilizes the coarse mesh algorithms
 Establish one vent case for part and generate coarse mesh
1. Using the coarsened mesh and Dijkstra's algorithm, find the shortest path to the inlet.
2. Change the clusters on the path to the inlet to have D.M. permeability
3. If necessary, add D.M. to the void areas as well
4. Repeat

Line-Growth Generation of Distribution Media

 Given an inlet line, “grow” distribution media towards vents
 Weight growth factor towards void areas
 Stop when a certain fill time or media coverage is obtained


Distribution media addition can drastically reduce the projected fill time of a mesh and can be automatically generated given a geometry and infusion scheme. This has the effect of simplifying the recommended infusion scheme.


This work is supported by the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials, DARPA and by Dr. Suresh Advani, Dr. Shridhar Yarlagadda, Dr. Pavel Simacek, Jiayin Wang, Dr. John Tierney, Dan Molligan, John Gangloff, Hatice Sinem-Sas, Cedric Jacob, and Shashank Sharma.

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