This paper first describes a curing process model comprised of the coupled cure-kinetics and thermal evolution in a cationic polymerization of a single layer of material and then extends it to multi-mode curing of multiple layers. The model is characterized as a switching multi-mode dynamic system that switches when the UV source is turned off and when a new layer is added to the existing layer. These two switching conditions are explicitly defined. The model is then used to determine the optimal mode switching times and the final process time which are considered as manipulated control variables. This is done by explicitly deriving the necessary conditions of optimality for the multi-mode switching system. The results are first illustrated for a two-layer composite laminate and then the results of five-layer curing are briefly discussed to show the versatility of the proposed approach. The optimal switching times and final time result in minimal cure level deviation across the thick composite material.

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