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Fast and reliable gate arrangement pre-design of resin infusion processes

Abstract

In Resin Infusion (RI) processes, the flow front shape progression is mainly conditioned by the initial arrangement of the injection and vent gate line locations and the permeability of the preform. The main goal of this research is to develop fast (not necessarily physically-based) tools at the pre-design stage that could help designers with a suitable arrangement of injection nozzles and vents. This pre-design should then be validated by full-physics simulation or lab test, but could be considered as a suitable starting point in the designing process. RI simulators could eventually be equipped with this kind of pre-design tools as a means to provide very fast (at the cost of a somewhat reduced accuracy) designs. In the approach here presented the pre-design tools are based entirely on geometrical assumptions. Under these hypotheses, and assuming that the vents will be placed on the boundary of the piece, the distance field from this boundary will provide useful information on the optimal position of injection nozzles. In this work, inspired by the concept of medial axis, we propose a numerical technique that computes numerically approximate distance fields by invoking computational geometry concepts that can be used for the estimation of the gate arrangement in infusion processes. Detailed descriptions of the developed algorithm, together with first proofs of its performance are given.

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