Abstract

On-line monitoring of the Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM) process is a key element to improve part quality and to reduce manufacturing cost. In this context, direct current (DC) resistance measurement is a promising sensing technique allowing to track both flow front position and degree of curing of the resin during injection. An original measurement technique called Linear Direct Current (LDC) based on the same physical principle as DC was developed to record the flow front position continuously and not only at discrete nodes location. Preliminary measurements in a 1D-flow channel have shown the large influence of the hardware configuration on the accuracy of the LDC system. Further flow experiments were conducted with the support of an embedded print plate in the flow channel as LDC sensor. These 2D measurements have demonstrated the relative good accuracy and stability of the LDC system. Evaluation criteria include qualitative comparison between visual- and LDC-monitoring system with regard to position and shape of the flow front. A software was developed in-house to display the 2D flow front position based on the information delivered by the LDC-system. This study has shown the potential of this original technique to monitor LCM-injection processes. Next steps will include the application of the LDC-technology in a real industrial environment to support the fabrication of complex shaped 3D-structures.

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