Technological process optimization of complex shape composite aviation structures autoclave molding with prior correction of their geometry


Diukov V. A.

Don State Technical University, DSTU, 1, Gagarin square, Rostov-on-Don, 344003, Russia



The article presents geometry correction methods for the complex shape thin-walled composite structures. Topologically correct prepreg and shape-generating rigging models were developed. New prepreg theoretical models obtaining is being ensured by edges sectioning of the original parts by parallel or radial planes and creating surface by the intersection lines of the specified planes and associated facets. For parts creating, the surfaces were being truncated, thickened, and corresponding moulds were being built. The obtained parts and moulds were placed in assemblages.

Thermo-physical parameters of the composite prepreg were assigned to the models, and then the coupled problem of heat transfer and polymerization was being solved. Kinetic equation, which structure and parameters depend on the binder properties, is being employed to describe the dependence of the degree of polymerization on time and temperature. The type and parameters of the kinetic equation are determined from the results of materials analysis by the Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) using various numerical methods for these parameters identification. For the specified technological system, the heat injection method, namely autoclave molding, was selected. The law of temperature variation was selected in the most commonly wide-spread stepwise form: heating – isothermal dwelling – heating – isothermal dwelling – cooling.

As the result, both temperature and time optimalи regimes of the two-stage autoclave molding cycle were selected, which ensure achieving the required degree of polymerization value of the carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) prepreg, and minimizing temperature differential and binder degree of polymerization in the polymerized volume. Temperature and time regimes of cure affect the structure and quality of the material.

The results of the molding process simulations demonstrated a significant dependence of both the average temperatures and the degree of prepreg polymerization, and their spread in the prepreg and mould, on the characteristics of the technological process and technological limitations.


technological process optimization, autoclave molding, polymer composites, CAD/CAE technologies


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