Influence of Cure Monitoring on the Curing Cycle Time and the Associated Economic Impact

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Abstract

In composite processing part quality is largely defined by the degree of cure achieved during the curing process. Cure monitoring is often proposed to enhance process stability and support cost efficient production. The aim of this paper is to analyze potential benefits of cure monitoring in industrial composite production. Experiments using in-mold DC (direct current) sensors in RTM processing proved the working principle of cure monitoring but also highlighted its technical and conceptual limitations. The method of slope indication is presented by the authors to help overcome some restrictions of online cure monitoring.

In economic case studies the prospective financial benefit of cure monitoring for efficient aerospace composite manufacturing is evaluated. Especially the often claimed chance to reduce cycle time is scrutinized for its technic practicability and estimated financial impact.

The effects of cure time and process stability on production costs are afterwards compared against each other as process monitoring could help decrease manufacturing scrap rate.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-65
JournalJournal of Mineral, Metal and Material Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2017