Umoe Mandal Gun Shield
RTM-Worx has been used to optimise the infusion of a carbon/epoxy gun shield. The predicted filling pattern, from calculations done by Umoe Mandal, is shown below (click on the image for an animation).
Note that the image (and animation) show the part upside down. The resin was supplied at the bottom and the vacuum was on top (which is the only way to obtain a good quality laminate with Vacuum Infusion).
The pictures above are from a trial infusion with glass fiber instead of carbon. While the impregnation of glass and carbon is quite different (especially the injection time differs), the filling patterns - shape of flow front in time - is comparable.
In the simulations, the effect of race tracking (with different sizes of the runners that were used in the model) was studied to make sure the part would fill correctly. Above, the predicted filling pattern around a corner can be compared to the actual flow. From the parameter study with RTM-Worx, the conclusion was drawn that race tracking would not result in air traps. This was confirmed in the experiment.
Photographs and RTM-Worx models were kindly provided by Umoe Mandal.