Cooling Analysis of Composite Mandrel using STAR-CCM+
Modern jet engines are getting bigger and also lighter. For example, years ago it was common to use titanium or stainless steel as blade-out containment materials. These large diameter and thick rings can now be replaced by modern carbon fiber composites; however, manufacturing large diameter composites with tight tolerances is difficult. One of the key challenges is maintaining tight tolerance during heating (curing) and cooling (mandrel removal) process. In a recent CFD project for a Tier 1 aerospace manufacturer, we used STAR CCM+ to simulate the thermal-flow process of cooling the composite mandrel down to room temperature. STAR was particularly suited for this project given its advanced polyhedral meshing technology coupled with a fast MPP thermal-flow solver (High Performance Computing (HPC)). Results in this CFD consulting project were verified against prior experience and hand calculations.