Completion of the "FogeLRaP" project

The "FogeLRaP" project, which ran as part of the "Zentrale Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)" funding line of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection under the title "Development of a filling strategy optimization for a dimensionally accurate lightweight RTM tool based on process simulations", was successfully completed together with the project partner Grunewald GmbH & Co. KG.
The main focus of the project was the investigation of the resin transfer molding (RTM) process. A particular challenge here is the U-profile of the component, which tends to generate gaps between the preform and the tool during compaction, especially at the radii. This can lead to uncontrollable flow fronts during injection and later to dry spots in the final component. 
To investigate the generation of the gaps, a viscoelastic material model was developed and validated for the compaction simulations. Subsequently, filling simulations has been done to investigate the influence of the advancing resin in these gaps, also known as race tracking. Virtual studies were used to show how significant the influence of race tracking channels is on the filling of the component and the formation of dry spots. The simulations also showed that intelligent flow front control mechanism can be used to reduce dry spots and thus generally minimize scrap rates during production.
To further optimize the virtual process chain, an automated coupling between the compaction and filling simulations was developed, which automatically transfers results such as the fiber volume content.
Together with the results of the simulations, a modular RTM tool was developed by the company Grunewald and put into operation at the Chair of Carbon Composites. Finally, demonstrators were produced at the chair.