Flexible Low-Cost Tooling Solutions for a One-Shot Resin Infusion of a 3D Woven and Multi-Textile Preform

Nikita Budwal*, Carwyn Ward, Kent Kasper, Jon Goering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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3D woven materials are extremely capable for high-performance aerospace applications. Traditionally, components comprised of 3D wovens are manufactured using Resin Transfer Moulding, requiring matched tooling that can result in high costs. Increasingly this is not feasible for mid-to-large structures, therefore flexible tooling strategies are necessary to facilitate low-cost one-shot vacuum mouldings of multi-textile composites. Towards this need, the authors investigated tooling materials and infusion strategies for an as-designed 3D woven pi-section incorporating a Non-Crimp Fabric (NCF) skin. Engaging with stakeholders presented two infusion strategies (flow ‘up’ or ‘down’ pi-NCF geometry) and three inserts (Polyetherimide, Silicone, and Aluminium) for the pi internal channel. Six infusions were completed with manufacturing data recorded followed by X-ray CT analysis to evaluate geometry and infusion quality; and manufacturing costs estimated. In combination, results suggest that coupling flexible tooling materials is most effective in both reducing costs and maximising injection quality, ensuring geometrical performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-863
Number of pages9
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
Early online date19 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2020
Event33th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing - National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Duration: 15 Jun 202118 Jun 2021
Conference number: 30


  • 3D woveN
  • Resin Infusion
  • One-shot
  • Tooling
  • Cost

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