The state of the art of High Pressure Resin Transfer Molding (HP-RTM) process chain includes automated full-ply preforming of dry fiber reinforcements and the infiltration and curing with HP-RTM technology. The preform manufacturing starts using coils of textile reinforcements. 2-D textile layers are initially cut and stacked to the desired textile layup. The stack is then transferred to a full-ply draping mold to form a 3-D dry preform which is larger than the component’s end-geometry. After trimming to RTM mould cavity shape in an interposed process step the preform is transferred to the infiltration mold to be infiltrated with resin system. Once the mold is closed, the resin and hardener mixture is injected into the cavity at high pressures. The resin flows through the fibers and impregnates the preform. Ideally, once the impregnation process is completed the resin undergoes a curing reaction thanks to mold heating devices and after a reduced time interval, the component can be demolded. The final machining of the component is carried out in conventional milling/water jet-cutter centers.
The CARIM project is composed by 8 WorkPackages: WPs 1-4 cover technical and demonstration work with all the necessary optimizations, concept elaboration and implementation steps followed by process chain validation and qualification for the wheel, including the final scale-up for series production. WP1 comprises dimensioning phases concerning wheel design and suitable manufacturing process routes accompanied by material identification and characterization in WP2. Characterization before and after relevant aging conditions will be realized. Manufacturing technologies will also be investigated on a laboratory scale and a preliminary wheel design will be verified for demonstrator manufacturing in manual approach and mechanical testing. Both WPs coincide with each other and lead to the demonstration activities which are part of WP3 and WP4. WP3 deals with the setup of an automated manufacturing process chain for preforming and infiltration in series production scale. The outcome of WP1 and WP2 will be transferred into the design and manufacturing of technology specific moulds for preforming and infiltration for manufacturing of prototypes in WP4. These prototypes will be taken into a homologation and testing phase. Parallel, the process validation and scale-up for the production of full carbon wheels will be carried out by experts within the consortium considering the tough timeline to market entry of a full carbon wheel. WP5-6 cover the dissemination and exploitation of the results, including IPR management, market monitoring and the regular revision of the business plan, while WP7-8 cover technical/administrative project management.