Wet compression moulding (WCM) provides large-scale production potential for continuous fibre-reinforced structural components due to simultaneous infiltration and draping during moulding (viscous draping). Due to thickness-dominated infiltration of the laminate, comparatively low cavity pressures are sufficient – a considerable economic advantage. Experimental and numerical investigations prove strong mutual dependencies between the physical mechanisms, especially between resin flow and textile forming. Understanding and suitable modelling of these occurring physical mechanisms is crucial for process development and final part design. While existing modelling approaches are suitable for infiltration of preformed fabrics within various liquid moulding technologies, such as CRTM/RTM or VARI, WCM requires a fully coupled simulation approach for resin progression and concurrent stack deformation. Thus, the key challenge is to efficiently link these two aspects in a suitable framework. First, this work demonstrates that a three-dimensional approach for fluid progression during moulding is needed to capture WCM-process boundary conditions. ... mehrIn this regard, a novel test bench is used to investigate the impact of infiltration on the transversal compaction behaviour of a woven fabric. Moreover, the test setup is applied to determine the in-plane permeability values of the same material corresponding to the beforehand applied compaction states. Results are verified by comparison with an existing linear test setup.
In the second part, initial steps towards a three dimensional extension of an existing 2D modelling approach are outlined. For this purpose, a macroscopic FE-based three-dimensional formulation of Darcy’s law is utilized within a User-Element in Abaqus/Explicit. Essential mechanisms within the element are presented. Additional control volumes (FE/CV) are applied to ensure mass conservation. Eventually, it is demonstrated, that the simulation model can predict the average fluid pressure beneath a punch during pre-infiltrated compaction experiments. Finally, major benefits and forthcoming steps for a fully-coupled 3D modelling approach for WCM are outlined.