The proposed innovation is a process simulation workflow for process optimization and part quality prediction of composite parts to enable tailored manufacturing processes. The proposed workflow will map physics-based process simulation of outcomes and defects with the simulation of the effects of the outcomes on part quality. Experimental linking of the two for composites has been performed in research settings, indicating promise and interest in such an integrated tool. The innovation proposed here will not only link process simulation and outcome simulation in a physics-based workflow capable of representing a wide variety of processes, it will develop the uncertainty quantification capability needed to create a robust tool capable of predicting process windows. Phase I will focus developing and validating a methodology and workflow with which to approach this problem for an example defect, proposed to be porosity that will be further developed in Phase II and expanded to other defects. Future project vision involves turning into a software tool and/or integrating capability as a feature in existing software tools like RAVEN or COMPRO for ABAQUS or ANSYS.
Potential NASA applications exist for aerospace groups interested in advanced tailorable composites, but as the the framework is expanded to include a wide variety of composite processes, any NASA user manufacturing composites could use the process optimization for part and process design. The ability to predict defects and the effect of defects on part performance can be used reduce risk, improve cycle time, or meet performance property requirements for costly, cutting edge parts and processes.
The mapping of process simulation and effect of defects analysis with robust uncertainty quantification will create a framework useful among to all composites manufacturers and researchers, including US military, OEMs and Tier 1 composite manufacturers, engineering simulation software developers, and universities.