Simulation on filling pattern of vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) for sectional wind blade shells
Saw, Kee Hong
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The Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) process is one of the most common and economical processes which has been adapted by many wind blade manufacturers. The significant advantages for this process primarily owed to its simplicity as well as its lower cost of operation. Nevertheless, there are several potential drawbacks from this process such as the delamination and the dryspot issues. The dryspot issue will be the main focus in this thesis. In this thesis, the methodology includes 3-D solid modeling, finite element modeling and injection simulations. Throughout the framework of this thesis, 3-D non-isothermal conditions would be implemented and double core framework will be incorporated within the sectional blade shells. The standard design of the blade is directly adapted from the Wind PACT Blade Designs.  The modeling work involves the use of CATIA V5 CAD modeling software to create a single full half wind blade shell which later sectioned to two sections. The sectional wind blade shells were equally divided right at the mid-span of the full blade namely, the root section and the tip section of the wind blade shells. Finite element modeling was also incorporated through the use of PATRAN 2008 r2 while the injection simulation is directly simulated through ESI Group of PAM RTM software. The results from the simulation were discussed and analyzed. Post analysis involves recommended solutions toward the issues found throughout the manufacturing process. Future works were also discussed in the final conclusions to provide potential future development study in the VARTM process.
Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering