Pultrusion is one of the most cost-effective manufacturing techniques for producing fiber reinforced composites with constant cross sectional profiles. This obviously makes it more attractive for both researchers and practitioners to investigate the optimum process parameters, i.e. pulling speed, power and dimensions of the heating platens, length and width of the heating die, design of the resin injection chamber, etc., to provide better understanding of the process, consequently to improve the efficiency of the process as well as the product quality. Using validated computer simulations is a 'cheap', therefore attractive and efficient tool for autonomous (numerical) optimization. Optimization problems in engineering in general comprise multiple objectives often having conflict with each other. Evolutionary multi-objective optimization (EMO) algorithms provide an ideal way of solving this type of problems without any biased treatment of objectives such as weighting constants serving as pre-assumed user preferences. In this paper, first, a thermochemical simulation of the pultrusion process has been presented considering the steady-state conditions. Following that, it is integrated with a well-known EMO algorithm, i.e. non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II), to simultaneously maximize the pulling speed and minimize a so-called criterion of 'total energy consumption' (TOC) which is defined as a measure of total heating area(s) and associated temperature(s). As a result, a set of optimal solutions are obtained for different trade-offs between these conflicting objectives. Having this set of trade-off solutions obviously makes the decision-making much easier at the end. Finally, a pair of solutions are selected considering their process parameters and heating die configuration.
Key Engineering Materials, 2013, Vol 554-557, p. 2165-2174
Multi-objective optimization; Evolutionary algorithm; Pultrusion process; Simulation; Thermo-chemical model
Main Research Area:
16th annual ESAFORM Conference on Material Forming, 2013