On June 14, 2013 I had the honor to attend the commissioning of the Badger Tech sailboat on the lakefront of Lake Mendota, Madison, WI. The sailboat was manufactured at the University of Wisconsin’s Mechanical Engineering department. The SPE Composites Division donated the funds needed to purchase a license for the PAM-RTM simulation software. The development of the sailboat revolved around an Introduction to Composites Processing course initiated by Prof. Tim Osswald. The course covered composites manufacturing theory in addition to a main project, which was building the Badger Tech. They performed flow and FEA simulations in addition to the complete lay-out and molding. The course was taken by 26 students during the spring semester. Another course is being taught over the summer. The course included a lot of engineering students who are also part of the UW Hoofers Sailing Club.
PAM-RTM was used by the students to simulate the resin flow through the fiber layup in the boat molds by considering different configurations proposed by the students for the location of inlets.
I was very impressed by the leadership and motivation of the students I met. Building a composites part like this for the first time is not an easy task. They worked very hard to provide a finished product that functions and looks great.
I am proud of the Composites Division providing support and taking part on this project. This is the type of program that helps the development of composites knowledge at the student level. Also, a paper is in the works that will be submitted to the ANTEC 2014 conference.
Antoine Rios, Secretary SPE Composites Division