In this paper thermo-chemical simulation of the pultrusion process of a composite rod is first used as a validation case to ensure that the utilized numerical scheme is stable and converges to results given in literature. Following this validation case, a cylindrical die block with heaters is added to the pultrusion domain of a composite part and thermal contact resistance (TCR) regions at the die-part interface are defined. Two optimization case studies are performed on this new configuration. In the first one, optimal die radius and TCR values are found by using a hybrid genetic algorithm based on a sequential combination of a genetic algorithm (GA) and a local search technique to fit the centerline temperature of the composite with the one calculated in the validation case. In the second optimization study, the productivity of the process is improved by using a mixed integer genetic algorithm (MIGA) such that the total number of heaters is minimized while satisfying the constraints for the maximum composite temperature, the mean of the cure degree at the die exit and the pulling speed.
Applied Composite Materials, 2013, Vol 20, Issue 4, p. 449-463