Experimental Evaluation and Finite Element Analysis of Vacuum Infused Stiffened Composite Panel


Flat and hat stiffened panels have been manufactured by the vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process using AS4-5HS carbon fabric and SI-ZG-5A low viscosity epoxy resin. The density and fiber volume fraction of manufactured panels have been determined. A three dimensional mathematical model has been developed for flow simulation and implemented in the ABAQUS finite element package code to predict the resin flow front during the infusion process and to optimize the flow parameters. Tensile tests on coupons were performed to determine the elastic constants required for finite element structural analysis. Hat stiffened panels have been tested under transverse loading and the results were validated by the finite element simulation. The results of the present study indicate that aircraft grade composite parts with high fiber volume fractions can be manufactured using the VARTM process, and that flow modeling can be successfully developed and implemented into the ABAQUS finite element analysis code.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

VARTM; Finite Element Analysis; Hat Stiffened Plate

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2005 Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2005