Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware

Research Summary

Robust Process Design for Liquid Composite Molding (LCM)

Authors: J. Wang (PhDME), Dr. P. Simacek, and Dr. S. G. Advani

Background: Design and Manufacturing of Composite Material Structures

• Composite processing simulations combined with stress analysis lead to robust structural design and process design
• Liquid Composite Molding (LCM) processes: Thermoset resin injected into the mold filled with fiber preform under pressure difference

Integration Between Process and Functional Design

• In LCM, processing simulations are necessary to virtually execute the manufacturing steps to verify the design.
• Interaction between composite structural design and processing design in LCM:
- Simulation results reflect part manufacturability and cost;
- Optimized processing parameters for LCM;
- Feedback to the designer for design iteration.

Composite Process Manufacturing Simulation Tool: LIMS

• LIMS: Liquid Composite Molding Simulation
• LCM mold filling simulation tool to predict flow pattern during resin impregnation step
- Input: FE mesh, Preform permeability, and resin inlet
- Output: Flow pattern, pressure, temperature field

Optimal Gate/Vent design for RTM

• Design Gate/Vent schemes to fill the mold under fill time restrictions and free of voids in Resin Transfer Molding Processes
• Develop algorithms to search for optimal gate/vent design

Optimal Infusion Line Design for VARTM

Robust Process Design Accounting for Material Variability


• Coupling between composite part functional design and process design can reduce prototype development cost and time
• Integrating LCM simulation tools and optimization modules into a CAD environment seamlessly can provide process information to the designer in real time
• Accounting for material variability to achieve robust process design


The financial support of this work is provided in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through orthotic project for the Center for Composite Material at the University of Delaware.

This effort was sponsored in part by the Department of the Army. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Army

302-831-8149 •