Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Robert L Woods


Importance of closed mold and short fibers in the manufacture of carbon composite parts was realized based on a study of existing manufacturing processes for thermoset resins as these can improve production volumes, cost reduction of the part, production of near net shape parts eliminating secondary operations and production of parts with near isotropic properties due to random fiber orientation. Compression molding process is the most preferred process as this addresses the problems of fiber damage effectively because of the minimal flow in the material. A brief study was done on the compression molded carbon composite parts in the industry. Identification of part manufacturers, process types, raw material suppliers are the key findings of the study. Compression molding process depends on three key areas such as geometry of the part, raw material used and the process conditions for producing a desired part. This thesis will demonstrate the advantageous carbon composite compression molding process by developing a high strength part for the racing team. A comparative study was done between wheel center and wheel hub for the existing process and areas for improvement. Wheel center was identified as the most suitable part for development based on scope of weight Reduction in team's goal and need for improvement in functional aspects. A detailed market study was done on the material suppliers and their compounds.Compounds are compared in relation to the existing aluminum grade. Three compounds are selected based on the strength and modulus values which are closer to the aluminum values. Modifications are made to the design to address the functional issues and to suit the process. Stress and deformation values are compared for existing and proposed designs. The proposed design promised over 20 % reduction in weight, stress and deformation. Detailed design for the mold is done based on the proposed design. Heating and cooling systems are studied and positions in the mold are analyzed in ansys and solidworks for the thermal distribution in the cavity. Detailed engineering drawings are made for the part and the mold. Process parameters like cure temperature, process pressure, press tonnage required are identified based on the selected raw material. This thesis will provide an approach for developing high strength parts by compression molding process.


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington