THERMAL ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF SELF-HEATING MOLDS USING LARGE-SCALE ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING FOR OUT-OF-AUTOCLAVE APPLICATIONS
Publication Name: Proceedings of the ASME 2022
Publication URL: https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1922322
Autoclave processing is a commonly used state-of-the-art fiber-reinforced composite manufacturing technology, albeit high capital cost, long cycle times and high energy consumption. Alternatively, out-of-autoclave processing reduces the initial and operating costs while producing composite structures with similar quality as that of autoclave parts. Additive Manufacturing (AM) the scaled-up molds for out-of-autoclave process using carbon fiber (CF) reinforced composite offers design flexibility, enhanced mechanical, and thermal properties in addition to reduction in weight and cost. However, heating of these molds using an oven is still expensive and necessitates an energy-efficient heating process. In this study, resistive heating through heating elements embedded within fiber reinforced composite molds is used as an efficient heating mechanism. The goal is to design wire embeddings and determine the optimal heat flux density to achieve a target uniform temperature of 1000C across the mold surface. To this end, numerical analyses were performed to evaluate the temperature distribution across the composite mold surface for a given wire placement and mold configuration. Constant thermal properties of the 20 wt.% short CF reinforced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) were used in the thermal analysis. Time taken to reach the steady state temperature was also estimated. Design guidelines for wire embeddings were included to enable efficient manufacturing of fiber-reinforced composites through out-of-autoclave molds.