Process modeling of composites by resin transfer molding: Sensitivity analysis for non-isothermal considerations

B. J. Henz, K. K. Tamma, R. V. Mohan, N. D. Ngo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of the present paper is to describe the modeling, analysis and simulations for the resin transfer molding (RTM), manufacturing process with particular emphasis on the sensitivity analysis for non-isothermal applications. Design/methodology/approach - For the manufacturing of advanced composites via RTM, besides the tracking of the resin flow fronts through a porous fiber perform, the heat transfer and the resin cure kinetics play an important role. The computational modeling is coupled multi-disciplinary problem of flow-thermal-cure. The paper describes the so-called continuous sensitivity formulation via the finite element method for this multi-disciplinary problem for process modeling of composites manufactured by RTM to predict, analyze and optimize the manufacturing process. Findings - Illustrative numerical examples are presented for two sample problems which include examination of sensitivity parameters for the case of material and geometric properties, and boundary conditions including fill time sensitivity analysis. The results indicate that the proposed formulations serve a useful role for the design and optimization of the RTM manufacturing process, thereby, avoiding heuristic trial-and-error methods. Research limitations/implications - The paper restricts attention to constant properties and extensions to non-linear thermophysical properties will serve as an added benefit. Practical implications - The present efforts significantly impact the design/optimization process in the process modeling of composites manufactured by RTM. Originality/value - To the authors' knowledge, this is the first time that continuous sensitivity analysis is done for non-isothermal considerations in RTM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-653
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat and Fluid Flow
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2005


  • Composite materials
  • Finite element analysis
  • Resins


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