TITLE

Numerical Simulation of Pressure Infiltration Process for Making Metal Matrix Composites Using Dual-Scale Fabrics

AUTHOR(S)
Wang, Bo; Pillai, Krishna M.
PUB. DATE
December 2013
SOURCE
Metallurgical & Materials Transactions. Part A;Dec2013, Vol. 44 Issue 12, p5834
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Correct modeling of flow and solidification of metal melt in the pressure infiltration process (PIP) is important for accurate simulation and process optimization of the mold-filling process during the making of metal matrix composites. The fiber reinforcements used in this process often consist of fiber tows or bundles that are woven, stitched, or braided to create a dual-scale preform. The physics of melt flow in the dual-scale preform is very different from that in a single-scale preform created from a random distribution of fibers. As a result, the previous PIP simulations, which treat the preform as being single scale, are inaccurate. A pseudo dual-scale approach is presented where the melt flow through such dual-scale porous media is modeled using the conventional single-scale approach using two distinctly different permeabilities in tows and gaps. A three-dimensional finite difference model is developed to model the flow of molten metal in the dual- and single-scale preforms. To track the fluid front during the mold filling and infiltration, the volume of fluid method is used. A source-based method is used to deal with transient heat transfer and phase changes. The computational code is validated against an analytical solution and a published result. Subsequent study reveals that infiltration of an idealized dual-scale preform is marked by irregular flow fronts and an unsaturated region behind the front due to the formation of gas pockets inside fiber tows. Unlike the single-scale preform characterized by sharp temperature gradients near mold walls, the dual-scale preforms are marked by surging of high-temperature melts between tows and by the presence of sharp gradients on the gap-tow interfaces. The parameters such as the (gap-tow) permeability ratio, the (gap-tow) pore volume ratio, and the inlet pressure have a strong influence on the formation of the saturated region in the dual-scale preform.
ACCESSION #
91988897

 

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