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ESI Group and Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal Collaborate on PAM-RTM

22 June 2009

ESI has released several innovations in the field of numerical simulation of Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM) and manufacturing process analysis, thanks to its partnership with École Polytechnique de Montréal.

A long-term agreement was signed with École Polytechnique de Montréal in 2007 aimed at developing, validating and industrializing PAM-RTM, ESI’s simulation based design composite solution for Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) and resin infusion processes.

The following innovations, developed by the Chair on Composites of High Performance at École Polytechnique de Montréal, are progressively being integrated into the existing PAM-RTM software:

▪ Optimization of the void distribution in an RTM composite part through injection flow rate (VoidOpt module);
▪ Rapid RTM flow simulation (OneShot module);
▪ Conditional opening of injection ports and vents during resin injection (Trigger Manager module);
▪ Incorporation of simultaneous filling and curing simulations including the overfilling phase and the evacuation of excess resin at the end of the filling cycle;
▪ Automatic definition and optimization for the location of multiple injection ports in a RTM mold based on genetic algorithms (GenPorts module);
▪ Articulated injection-compression (Articulated Compression RTM or ACRTM process).

While PAM-RTM version 2008 already includes the void optimization module, the upcoming version 2009 will feature the quick One-Shot simulation module that can be used upfront to accelerate the process development and find the optimal positions of injection ports. Features to speed up the work of process engineers and allow conditional mold filling simulations for multiple injection ports, namely the interaction of filling and curing and the Trigger Manager, will also be included in version 2009.

The partnership between ESI Group and École Polytechnique de Montréal has brought about the acceleration and amplification of PAM-RTM research and development.

“Fifteen years ago, while developing RTMFLOT, the original version of PAM-RTM, Pr. Trochu and his team introduced a technological disruption by bringing numerical simulation to R&D developers in the now popular field of Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM). The integration of those recent software improvements, from the CCHP into the industrial environment of PAM-RTM, empowers ESI’s composite solution for process engineers to reduce development time and costs, thus making composite solutions more affordable”, declares Dr. Patrick de Luca, ESI Group’s Composites Solution Manager. “Moreover, beyond enabling the process engineers to take decisions and deliver, the improved manufacturing simulation will lead to improved performance simulations because of a better physical description of the final part in terms of micro/macro voids description.”

In addition to providing material characterization services for LCM to the composite industry, École Polytechnique de Montréal has developed a series of software tools for permeability measurements, resin kinetics modelling, composite quality control, real-time process control, inmold passive monitoring, and mould expert start-up assistance that can be made available on request.

Pr. François Trochu, Chairholder of the CCHP, shares his commitment to providing support to PAM-RTM users: “We have a strong track record working with major aerospace and automotive companies in the LCM field. Our characterization tools provide users of PAM-RTM with real data for accurate process simulation. Our expert and process control software modules were devised to assist users in composite production and quality control. Our new industrial scale testing laboratory allows users to manufacture real composite parts to validate their numerical LCM solutions and our new patent pending flexible injection technology provides a low cost and 35 times faster alternative to RTM to produce high performance composites of autoclave quality.”






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