A Graphical User Interface for Simulating Resin-Transfer-Molding Combining LS-Dyna and OpenFOAM

The paper describes parts of the joint research project Swim-RTM including several industrial and academic partners. Its goal is to combine LS-DYNA and the open-source fluid-dynamics solver OpenFOAM® to simulate the production process for fiber reinforced plastics, particularly the resin-transfer-molding (RTM) process. In this process, the layers of dry fabric (uni-directional or woven) are formed in the mold (draping) and then filled with liquid resin with high pressure at injection points. The draping simulation of the fabric layers is carried out with LS-DYNA, while the injection simulation of the matrix material is performed in full 3D with OpenFOAM®. A key question that has to be answered in this research project is how local porosities and tensorial permeabilities for the fluid simulation can be derived from the structural computation of the draping step. The goal of the presented subproject is to develop a graphical user interface (GUI) that enables the simulation of the complete process including the transfer of simulation results from the draping to the injection phase and backwards. The complete simulation task is relatively complex and involves several software packages, which would mean a high effort for the user to get familiarized with. To circumvent this, the GUI aims at presenting the user only the necessary input data and creating and running the simulations, as well as mapping tasks, in the background. For the draping step several current fabric materials such as *MAT_34, *MAT_234, *MAT_235, *MAT_249 are available. Several modelling techniques for the composite setup are also conceivable, including a workflow similar to metal forming applications. The transfer of the output data of the draping simulation to setup the OpenFOAM® command files is done with a mapping tool developed by the DYNAmore GmbH. Examples of the GUI-application are presented.