ProPeL stands for “PROcess and PErformance simulation of Lightweight structures” and is a SIM ICON project.
The key objective of ProPeL is to develop efficient and accurate simulation tools of the manufacturing process steps for thermoplastic polymers materials (both reinforced as unreinforced) and link the effect of part manufacturing to part performance. In order to achieve this goal, detailed modeling of the multi-scale nature of the material and of the multi-physics history of the manufacturing stages are crucial. The tools developed in ProPeL will aim the following manufacturing processes - thermoforming, injection molding and vacuum forming with respectively the following type of materials - continuous fiber composites, short fiber composites and unreinforced thermoplastic sheets.
In order to gather key material data an elaborate material characterization effort is planned, which will allow to support directly the modelling and simulation effort. To capture the effect of the manufacturing stage on the material properties state-of-the-art multi-scale models based on analytical and finite element techniques will be developed. By virtually apprehending the material history during part manufacturing and linking it to the novel multi-scale models, ProPeL will enable both process as part performance optimization allowing better exploitation of the material’s potential.
The project is coordinated by Siemens Industry Software and the project consortium comprises the companies REIN4CED, DOMO Chemicals, Honda R&D, Vitalo and MatchID and the academic partners UGent (Mechanics of Materials and Structures Group), KULeuven (Dept. of Materials Engineering and Propolis at KU Leuven Campus Bruges) and Tokyo University (Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics).