Back
 OJCM  Vol.10 No.3 , July 2020
Exploring the Potential to Uniquely Manufacture Curved VARTM Epoxy Composites Using Cost-Effective FDM Molds
Abstract: The Resin Infusion or the VARTM (Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding) process has significant potential to be used to manufacture curved composites. Another way to produce curved or complex geometry is to use 3D printers. 3D or FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) printers are now being used to produce relatively cheaper curved parts using thermoplastics such as PLA. However, the strength and mechanical performance of these parts is limited and can be enhanced if the polymer is reinforced with a type of fiber for instance. Research is being carried out to produce fiber rein-forced thermoplastic composites but that process is expected to be more expensive than the alternative methods such as injection or compression molding. Furthermore, to understand the manufacture of a hybrid composite using thermoplastics, fibers and epoxy resin, research and investigation need to be carried out. In this research, there are single-sided, double-sided, reusable, disposable and consumable molds. Most of the molds were created either using an FDM printer or manually. These molds were then used to manufacture flat and curved composite structures via the resin injection process, i.e. VARTM with epoxy resin system and glass/carbon/flax fiber reinforcement. By replacing the costly metallic molds by significantly cheaper molds, the cost of production was expected to further reduce. Furthermore, using double-sided PLA molds was not expected to be a threat to the overall cost of the composite part in question compared to double-sided matched molds used in compression molding. Shear strength, tensile strength and charpy impact strength of most of the manufactured composite parts were also investigated. The strengths were compared based on the method of mold usage. The results showed that this method is effective for a cheaper production of curved epoxy resin composites. However, the strength of the part will decrease as the curved profile gets more complicated unless the basic resin infusion process is altered.
Cite this paper: Kazmi, S. , Schuster, J. and Lutz, J. (2020) Exploring the Potential to Uniquely Manufacture Curved VARTM Epoxy Composites Using Cost-Effective FDM Molds. Open Journal of Composite Materials, 10, 45-65. doi: 10.4236/ojcm.2020.103004.
References

[1]   Soutis, C. (2005) Fibre Reinforced Composites in Aircraft Construction. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 41, 143-151.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paerosci.2005.02.004

[2]   Naser, M.Z. (2019) Extraterrestrial Construction Materials. Progress in Materials Science, 105, Article ID: 100577.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmatsci.2019.100577

[3]   Kazmi, S., Govignon, Q. and Bickerton, S. (2019) Control of Laminate Quality for Parts Manufactured Using the Resin Infusion Process. Journal of Composite Materials, 53, 327-343.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0021998318783308

[4]   Bellini, A., Guceri, S.U. and Bertoldi, M. (2004) Liquefier Dynamics in Fused Deposition. Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, 126, 237-246.
https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1688377

[5]   Zein, I., Hutmacher, D.W., Tan, K.C. and Teoh, S.H. (2002) Fused Deposition Modeling of Novel Scaffold Architectures for Tissue Engineering Applications. Biomaterials, 23, 1169-1185.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0142-9612(01)00232-0

[6]   Ahn, S.-H., Montero, M., Odell, D., Roundy, S. and Wright, P.K. (2002) Anisotropic Material Properties of Fused Deposition Modeling ABS. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 8, 248-257.
https://doi.org/10.1108/13552540210441166

[7]   Montero, M., Roundy, S., Odell, D., Ahn, S.-H. and Wright, P.K. (2001) Material Characterization of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) ABS by Designed Experiments. Proceedings of Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Conference, Cincinnati, 15 May 2001, 10.

[8]   Ang, K.C., Leong, K.F., Chua, C.K. and Chandrasekaran, M. (2006) Investigation of the Mechanical Properties and Porosity Relationships in Fused Deposition Modelling-Fabricated Porous Structures. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 12, 100-105.
https://doi.org/10.1108/13552540610652447

[9]   Anna, B. and Selcuk, G. (2003) Mechanical Characterization of Parts Fabricated Using Fused Deposition Modeling. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 9, 252-264.
https://doi.org/10.1108/13552540310489631

[10]   Bagsik, A. and Schoppner, V. (2011) Mechanical Properties of Fused Deposition Modeling Parts Manufactured with Ultem* 9085. ANTEC 2011, Boston, 1-5 May 2011, vol. 2, 1294-1298.

[11]   Bagsik, A., Schoeppner, V. and Klemp, E. (2010) FDM Part Quality Manufactured with Ultem* 9085. 14th International Scientific Conference on Polymeric Materials, Halle (Saale), 15 September 2010, Vol. 15, 307-315.

[12]   Sood, A.K., Ohdar, R.K. and Mahapatra, S.S. (2010) Parametric Appraisal of Mechanical Property of Fused Deposition Modelling Processed Parts. Materials & Design, 31, 287-295.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2009.06.016

[13]   Sood, A.K., Chaturvedi, V., Datta, S. and Mahapatra, S.S. (2011) Optimization of Process Parameters in Fused Deposition Modeling Using Weighted Principal Component Analysis. Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Systems, 10, 241-259.
https://doi.org/10.1142/S0219686711002181

[14]   Gray, R.W., Baird, D.G. and Helge Bohn, J. (1998) Effects of Processing Conditions on Short TLCP Fiber Reinforced FDM Parts. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 4, 14-25.
https://doi.org/10.1108/13552549810197514

[15]   Weinmann, J., Ip, H., Prigozhin, D., Escobar, E., Mendelson, M. and Noorani, R. (2003) Application of Design of Experiments (DOE) on the Processing of Rapid Prototyped Samples. The Solid Freeform Symposium, Proceedings, Austin, 2003, 340-347.

[16]   Drummer, D., Cifuentes-Cuéllar, S. and Rietzel, D. (2012) Suitability of PLA/TCP for Fused Deposition Modeling. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 18, 500-507.
https://doi.org/10.1108/13552541211272045

[17]   Teoh, K.J. and Hsiao, K.-T. (2011) Improved Dimensional Infidelity of Curve-Shaped VARTM Composite Laminates Using a Multi-Stage Curing Technique—Experiments and Modeling. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 42, 762-771.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2011.03.003

[18]   Ho, M.-P., Wang, H., Lee, J.-H., Ho, C.-K., Lau, K.-T., Leng, J. and Hui, D. (2012) Critical Factors on Manufacturing Processes of Natural Fibre Composites. Composites Part B: Engineering, 43, 3549-3562.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesb.2011.10.001

[19]   Kuo, C.-C. (2012) A Simple and Cost-Effective Method for Fabricating Epoxy-Based Composite Mold Inserts. Materials and Manufacturing Processes, 27, 383-388.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10426914.2011.551906

[20]   Oterkus, E., Madenci, E., Weckner, O., Silling, S., Bogert, P. and Tessler, A. (2012) Combined Finite Element and Peridynamic Analyses for Predicting Failure in a Stiffened Composite Curved Panel with a Central Slot. Composite Structures, 94, 839-850.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2011.07.019

[21]   Minakuchi, S., Umehara, T., Takagaki, K., Ito, Y. and Takeda, N. (2013) Life Cycle Monitoring and Advanced Quality Assurance of L-Shaped Composite Corner Part Using Embedded Fiber-Optic Sensor. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 48, 153-161.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2013.01.009

[22]   Kazmi, S., Jayaraman, K. and Das, R. (2016) Single-Step Manufacturing of Curved Polypropylene Composites Using a Unique Sheet Consolidation Method. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 237, 96-112.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2016.05.028

[23]   Zhao, Z., Jiang, D., Ou, Y., Tang, K., Luo, X. and Quan, Z. (2012) A Hollow Cylindrical Nano-Hydroxyapatite/Polyamide Composite Strut for Cervical Reconstruction after Cervical Corpectomy. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 19, 536-540.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2011.05.043

[24]   Kim, P.J., Lee, D.G. and Choi, J.K. (2000) Grinding Characteristics of Carbon Fiber Epoxy Composite Hollow Shafts. Journal of Composite Materials, 34, 2016-2035.
https://doi.org/10.1177/002199800772661958

[25]   Gordon, J. and Jeronimidis, G. (1980) Composites with High Work of Fracture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, 294, 545-550.
https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.1980.0063

[26]   Summerscales, J. (2010) A Taxonomy for Resin Infusion Processes.

[27]   Schuster, J., Kazmi, S.M.R. and Lutz, J. (2015) Manufacturing and Testing of Curved Fibrecomposites Using Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding (VARTM). 20th International Conference on Composite Materials (ICCM-20), Copenhagen, 19-24 July 2015.

[28]   Schuster, J., Govignon, Q. and Bickerton, S. (2014) Processability of Biobased Thermoset Resins and Flax Fibres Reinforcements Using Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojcm.2014.41001

[29]   Dong, C. (2008) A Modified Rule of Mixture for the Vacuum-Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding Process Simulation. Composites Science and Technology, 68, 2125-2133.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compscitech.2008.03.019

[30]   Kazmi, S., Das, R. and Jayaraman, K. (2014) Sheet Forming of Flax Reinforced Polypropylene Composites Using Vacuum Assisted Oven Consolidation (VAOC). Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 214, 2375-2386.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2014.04.030

[31]   Summerscales, J. (2011) Resin Infusion under Flexible Tooling (RIFT). In: Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites, Wiley, Hoboken, 1-11.
https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118097298.weoc216

[32]   Zhu, Q., Geubelle, P.H., Li, M. and Tucker III, C.L. (2001) Dimensional Accuracy of Thermoset Composites: Simulation of Process-Induced Residual Stresses. Journal of Composite Materials, 35, 2171-2205.
https://doi.org/10.1177/002199801772662000

[33]   Bogetti, T.A. and Gillespie Jr., J.W. (1992) Influence of Cure Shrinkage on Process-Induced Stress and Deformation in Thick Thermosetting Composites. Army Ballistic Research Lab Aberdeen Proving Ground Md.

[34]   Miller, K. and Ramani, K. (1999) Process-Induced Residual Stresses in Compression Molded UHMWPE. Polymer Engineering & Science, 39, 110-118.
https://doi.org/10.1002/pen.11401

[35]   Ruiz, E. and Trochu, F. (2005) Numerical Analysis of Cure Temperature and Internal Stresses in Thin and Thick RTM Parts. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 36, 806-826.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2004.10.021

[36]   Golestanian, H. and El-Gizawy, A.S. (2001) Modeling of Process Induced Residual Stresses in Resin Transfer Molded Composites with Woven Fiber Mats. Journal of Composite Materials, 35, 1513-1528.
https://doi.org/10.1106/VW5C-GN89-UXKR-WFKT

[37]   Fan, Z., Santare, M.H. and Advani, S.G. (2008) Interlaminar Shear Strength of Glass Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites Enhanced with Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 39, 540-554.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2007.11.013

[38]   Yang, B., Kozey, V., Adanur, S. and Kumar, S. (2000) Bending, Compression, and Shear Behavior of Woven Glass Fiber-Epoxy Composites. Composites Part B: Engineering, 31, 715-721.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S1359-8368(99)00052-9

[39]   Almeida Jr., J.H.S., Angrizani, C.C., Botelho, E.C. and Amico, S.C. (2015) Effect of Fiber Orientation on the Shear Behavior of Glass Fiber/Epoxy Composites. Materials & Design (1980-2015), 65, 789-795.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2014.10.003

[40]   Selmy, A., Elsesi, A., Azab, N. and El-baky, M.A. (2012) Interlaminar Shear Behavior of Unidirectional Glass Fiber (U)/Random Glass Fiber (R)/Epoxy Hybrid and Non-Hybrid Composite Laminates. Composites Part B: Engineering, 43, 1714-1719.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesb.2012.01.031

[41]   Godara, A., Mezzo, L., Luizi, F., Warrier, A., Lomov, S.V., Van Vuure, A.W., Gorbatikh, L., Moldenaers, P. and Verpoest, I. (2009) Influence of Carbon Nanotube Reinforcement on the Processing and the Mechanical Behaviour of Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composites. Carbon, 47, 2914-2923.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2009.06.039

[42]   Yan, L. and Chouw, N. (2015) Effect of Water, Seawater and Alkaline Solution Ageing on Mechanical Properties of Flax Fabric/Epoxy Composites Used for Civil Engineering Applications. Construction and Building Materials, 99, 118-127.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2015.09.025

[43]   Devendra, K. and Rangaswamy, T. (2013) Strength Characterization of E-Glass Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites with Filler Materials. Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 1, 353-357.
https://doi.org/10.4236/jmmce.2013.16054

 
 
Top