Composites Manufacturing Simulation With PAM-FORM and PAM-RTM

ESI Group, announces the release of PAM-RTM and PAM-FORM 2012, two numerical simulation applications dedicated to the manufacture of composite parts. This composites manufacturing simulation suite is a unique industrial solution to define and optimize manufacturing processes of dry textiles and prepregs, with the objective of achieving better part quality and lower production time cycle and cost.

Developed through partnerships in several fields including automotive, aerospace and defense, PAM-FORM is a virtual manufacturing solution dedicated to non-metallic forming processes. PAM-FORM enables realistic and predictive forming and pre-forming simulation of laminated composites, allowing engineers to select the most appropriate material, the right tooling design, and the best process parameters. “PAM-FORM helped us achieve our project goals: lower weight and cost of production while preserving the mechanical properties of the part. Additionally, it provided us with more information on optimizing our production process which can be reapplied to similar projects,” affirms Josef Krena, Development Manager at LETOV LETECKÁ VÝROBA Ltd., part of Latécoère Group.

PAM-FORM allows engineers to predict manufacturing defects, including wrinkling, excessive shearing, bridging or inappropriate thickness distribution; and to correct them by modifying the process parameters or the tooling. Josef Krena confirms: “Recently, we designed a forming tool for which we used PAM-FORM to optimize its tipping angle. It helped us reduce the cost of that tool without affecting the quality of the part.”

A best-in class tool, PAM-FORM addresses a large range of composites manufacturing processes: stamping, diaphragm forming, hand lay-up and rubber pad forming.

The latest enhancements mainly focus on dry textile preforming.

PAM-RTM is a simulation software application for resin injection or infusion of composite preforms with or without inserts and core materials. It provides an accurate prediction of the manufacturing process of thick, complex or large composite components commonly encountered in wind energy, aeronautics and automotive industries.

PAM-RTM covers a wide range of Liquid Composites Molding manufacturing processes: Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), Vacuum Assisted RTM (VARTM), Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion (VARI), Compression-RTM and Articulated-CRTM (CRTM and A-CRTM). Simulating these processes allows engineers to determine the optimal injection strategy, minimize the injection time, control the curing cycle and manage the resulting porosity of the finished part.

Professor Jeferson Avila Souza, from the Federal University of Rio Grande, Brazil, comments, “We have chosen PAM-RTM due to its ability to run 3D models in a realistic way and simulate resin injection in parts such as small boat hulls, propeller blades and automotive parts. We have also considered that it can be handled by group members that do not directly work with numerical techniques. The simulation process is steady, leading to quick and reliable results.”

New in version 2012, a high performance solver manages thermal analysis of preheating, non-isothermal filling and curing in an even more accurate manner. Additionally, thanks to the active support of the University of Nottingham in the UK, a permeability database addressing a large number and variety of textiles is now available for PAM-RTM customers, and will be enriched over time.

For more information, visit: www.esi-group.com/products/composites-plastics/pam-form or www.esi-group.com/products/composites-plastics/pam-rtm

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