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Liquid Composite Moulding Simulation Software Targets New Manufacturing Process

25 June 2004

ESI Group have launched PAM-RTM 2004, a Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM) simulation software package.

PAM-RTM 2004 is claimed to provide rapid solutions for preliminary design, as well as refined calculations for process and mould optimization, and final design verification. The product is uniquely suited to simulate a wide range of manufacturing processes, including Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM), Vacuum Assisted RTM (VARTM), and now with the 2004 release, Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion (VARI). VARI is one of the few processes that can be used to efficiently manufacture very large composite parts such as windmill blades, ship decks and hulls, and large aircraft parts. Due to their size, such large structures cannot be manufactured with traditional closed moulds. VARI simulation is now possible because the permeability variations caused by the deformation of fibrous reinforcement during resin injection are taken into account.

""With PAM-RTM 2004 engineers are now able to anticipate future manufacturing issues or problems that could not be simulated before when designing large components. It helps them drastically reduce manufacturing costs, as any failure would generate tremendous waste due to the large amounts of resin and fibre involved in these projects, not to mention the cost of the mould,"" said Patrick de Luca, Product Manager, ESI Group.

Among the many new capabilities found in PAM-RTM 2004 are a new contact resistance for thermal modelling and improved functionality for air bubbles entrapment detection. In addition, users can now define their own viscosity and curing functions, which enables them to simulate new resins as they come to market.

PAM-RTM 2004 offers a seamless integration of the solver, pre and post-processing. Automatic mesh modification is available for runners and injection points. This new functionality offers significant time-saving in the process-tuning and optimization of runners and positioning of injection gates, since the mesh modifications are done directly in PAM-RTM 2004 rather than going back to the CAD model.

PAM-RTM 2004 is available on PCs (Windows NT, 2000, XP), on Unix workstations from IBM, and hardware vendors' supported Linux platforms.