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research-article

Pressurized Infusion (PI): A New and Improved Liquid Composite Molding Process

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Akif Yalcinkaya

Postdoctoral Researcher, The University of Oklahoma, School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Felgar Hall, Rm. 212, 865 Asp Ave., Norman, OK, 73019
akifyalcinkaya@ou.edu

Gorkem E. Guloglu

PhD Candidate, The University of Oklahoma, School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Felgar Hall, Rm. 212, 865 Asp Ave., Norman, OK, 73019
gguloglu@ou.edu

Maya Pishvar

ASME Member, PhD Candidate, The University of Oklahoma, School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Felgar Hall, Rm. 212, 865 Asp Ave., Norman, OK, 73019
pishvar@ou.edu

Mehrad Amirkhosravi

ASME Member, PhD Candidate, The University of Oklahoma, School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Felgar Hall, Rm. 212, 865 Asp Ave., Norman, OK, 73019
mehrad@ou.edu

Murat Sozer

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, Koc University, Rumelifeneri Yolu, Sariyer, 34450, Istanbul, Turkey
msozer@ku.edu.tr

M. Cengiz Altan

ASME Fellow, Perkinson Chair & President's Associates Presidential Professor, The University of Oklahoma, School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Felgar Hall, Rm. 212, 865 Asp Ave., Norman, OK, 73019
altan@ou.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041569 History: Received June 24, 2018; Revised September 17, 2018

Abstract

Vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) has several inherent shortcomings such as long mold filling times, low fiber volume fraction, and high void content in fabricated laminates. These problems in VARTM mainly arise from the limited compaction of the laminate and low resin pressure. Pressurized Infusion (PI) molding introduced in this article overcomes these disadvantages by: (i) applying high compaction pressure on the laminate by an external pressure chamber placed on the mold, and (ii) increasing the resin pressure by pressurizing the inlet resin reservoir. The effectiveness of PI molding was verified by fabricating composite laminates at various levels of chamber and inlet pressures and investigating the effect of these parameters on the fill time, fiber volume fraction, and void content. Furthermore, spatial distribution of voids was characterized by employing a unique method, which uses a flatbed scanner to capture the high-resolution planar scan of the fabricated laminates. The results revealed that PI molding reduced fill time by 45%, increased fiber volume fraction by 16%, reduced void content by 98%, improved short beam shear strength by 14%, and yielded uniform spatial distribution of voids compared to those obtained by conventional VARTM.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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