The evolution of resin infusion processing throughout the years has enabled the aerospace industry to adopt it as a low-cost, advanced composites processing alternative to autoclave manufacturing. The transition from industrial applications towards higher performance applications has shown an increased focus on issues such as part quality and consistency. As the applications expand, the emphasis on accurate process monitoring techniques has increased, with a variety of in-situ cure monitoring sensors being investigated by various research teams. To date, a wide range of data analysis techniques have been used to correlate data collected from thermocouple, dielectric, ultrasonic and fibre optic sensors to information on material cure state.
Current research suggests that dielectric analysis hold much promise for cure and infusion monitoring for advanced composites applications, as the technology can provide live measurements of the progression of the chemical reaction. However, while the research suggests there are many methods to monitor the cure, these methods have been minimally validated against numerical models and it is currently unclear which of the methods are able to produce accurate and consistent results.
In this research, a thorough evaluation of dielectric analysis is proposed using a novel sensor which collects data through the thickness of a thick (2 cm) carbon fibre reinforced epoxy laminate. These experimental results will be compared to a stochastic cure model with the goal of identifying the production readiness of dielectric analysis for accurately monitoring cure behaviour. The culmination of this project will be a proposed methodology with demonstrated confidence for direct monitoring and validation of manufacturing activities.
For more information, please contact the Graduate Research School.