Cure gradients in thick composite parts can lead to significant manufacturing defects. These gradients often arise due temperature differentials across the part due to differentials in external heat penetration. Through the use of heated vascules, embedded within the part, the internal temperature distribution can be manipulated to obtain a more even heat distribution. As a result, differences in cure rate across the part can be minimised thereby improving part quality. An optimisation framework that determines both the position and time-dependent temperature of the vascular pathways is outlined for prismatic sections. The internal temperature, heat transfer, and degree of cure fields are determined using finite element analysis. The results obtained demonstrate a significant improvement in the cure homogeneity across the part when when compared to typical curing processes without the use of additional vascular heating.
|Title of host publication||57th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference|
|Place of Publication||Reston, Virginia|
|Publisher||American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Jan 2016|
O'Donnell, M. P., Mahadik, Y., & Ward, C. (2016). Cure rate tailoring of thick composites via temperature controlled vascular pathways. In 57th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference  American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA). https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2016-0161