Development of infusion strategy for composite railroad hopper car with flow simulation and validation

A. E. Ushakov, A. A. Safonov, M. Labordus, E. I. Kornienko, N. V. Rozin

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    In 2012 the Russian scientific and production enterprise of “Applied Advanced Technologies” (ApATeCh), in cooperation with Lightweight Structures B.V. started to work on the development of a composite roof and body of a railroad freight train or hopper car. The advantage of composites in this traditionally steel application would be the reduced weight and better durability when corrosive goods like fertiliser are transported. The challenging objective was to have the complete composite hopper car roof and hopper car body (see Figure 1), including all structural components such as frames and stiffeners, produced in one shot, with no need for subsequent assembly. Manufacturing of composite structures by the vacuum infusion process has its own advantages, but it requires a detailed understanding of the resin infusion process. To enable fabrication of the car body as an integrated monolithic structure without manufacturing defects, advanced resin flow simulations were used in combination with simple small-scale laboratory infusion tests to calibrate the models. In this way, it was possible to produce first-time-right parts, without the need for a lot of expensive experiments, which are normally needed for development of the final configuration of infusion process. This approach of process modelling and simulation in combination with practical validation experiments has been applied successfully for other large composite structures before [[3]]. Impregnation process modeling was conducted with PAM-RTM software [1].

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event20th International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 19 Jul 201524 Jul 2015


    Conference20th International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2015


    • Composite Materials
    • Hopper car
    • Infusion strategy
    • Permeability measurements
    • Railroad
    • Vacuum infusion


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