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A Numerical Simulation for the Hybrid Single Shot (HSS) Process Used to Manufacture Thermoset-Thermoplastic Components
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published April 06, 2021 by SAE International in United States
Event: SAE WCX Digital Summit
Multi-material design is one of the trending methods for automakers to cost-efficiently achieve lightweighting and meet stringent regulations and fuel efficiency concerns. Motivated by this trend, the hybrid single-shot (HSS) process has been recently introduced to manufacture thermoset-thermoplastic composites in one single integrated operation. Although this integration is beneficial in terms of reducing the cycle time, production cost, and manufacturing limitations associated with such hybrid structures, it increases the process complexity due to the simultaneous filling, forming, curing, and bonding actions occurring during the process. To overcome this complexity, a quick yet accurate simulation approach is presented here to predict the process performance and quality of the final part considering the most important thermal and mechanical aspects of the HSS process. Specifically, the deformation of the thermoset sheet under the non-uniform pressure applied by the injected thermoplastic is modeled to elucidate the effect of different process settings on the final geometry of the hybrid part. The melt pressure distribution is determined by an analytical model that is calibrated based on experimental data. The calculated pressure field is then incorporated into a finite element simulation to analyze the deformation of the prepreg sheet for different preheat times, melt temperatures, and injection rates. Finally, Comparisons were made between the simulation and experimental results using carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg as the thermoset sheets and a Polypropylene compound as the injected thermoplastic.