Khalid Saleh Aldhahri



Download Project (3.2 MB)


Resin transfer modeling (RTM) is increasingly used to produce composite materials for several applications. One of the challenges with the manufacturing process is how to fully impregnate the fiber preform in the mold with resin. Limited research has been conducted to investigate the resin flow behavior in critical regions of complex geometry such as the junction between the flange and web in T-joints, referred to as a deltoid (based on shape) or the noodle region (based on the approach used to fill the region with rolled-up fabric). Various approaches taken with respect to manufacturing T-joints include filling such critical regions which insert metal or use rolled-up fabric. However, by using tightly rolled-up fabric a new issue is introduced which relates to fabric permeability differences between the noodle region and main composite structure. This can lead to resin short-circuiting the noodle region prior to its filling, leaving voids in this area. One of the solutions to this problem before designing the mold and selecting process conditions is using computer simulation. This allows for initial viewing of the expected flow patterns and cure profiles before the actual resin injection. In this research, numerical modeling was conducted using PAM-RTM software included a carbon fiber fabric preform, a carbon fabric noodle with various permeability values, and Hexcel RTM6 epoxy resin. The software was used to simulate the isothermal infusion process, as well as the temperature distribution of the mold during infusion and subsequent curing process. Finally, the PAM-Distortion module was used to predict the distortion of the T-Joint after cure due to cure shrinkage and thermal contraction. This is important because in the processing of composite materials, the final geometry is often slightly different than the mold shape after removal due to process induced distortions, which is referred to as either spring-in or spring-back.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Donald A. Klosterman

Primary Advisor's Department

Chemical and Materials Engineering


Stander Symposium project, School of Engineering

Simulation of the Resin Infusion Process for a Composite T-Joint