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First Steps Towards Quantitative Validation of the Unsaturated-Flow Theories in Liquid Composite Molding

[+] Author Affiliations
Tonmoy Roy, Baiju Z. Babu, Krishna M. Pillai

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

Paper No. HT2003-47425, pp. 251-258; 8 pages
  • ASME 2003 Heat Transfer Summer Conference
  • Heat Transfer: Volume 3
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, July 21–23, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3695-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3679-7
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


In liquid composite molding technologies such as Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), a thermoset resin is injected into a mold cavity with a pre-placed preform made of fiber mats to create a cured part. In order to improve the physics of resin flow in dual-scale (woven, stitched or braided) fiber mats, the authors carried out many transient 1-D mold-filling experiments to investigate the onset of unsaturated flow through the inlet-pressure history. Their study revealed that the measured pressure history, which droops downwards for dual-scale fiber mats, is at a variance with the linear pressure profile predicted by state-of-the-art Liquid Composite Molding (LCM) mold-filling simulation physics. It was also observed that the drooping of the inlet pressure increases with an increase in the compression of fiber mats. In this paper, the correlation between a previously proposed dimensionless number pore volume ratio and the droop in the inlet pressure history has been sought. Studying the micrographs of composite samples, pore volume ratio is measured for various fiber mat compression. It is observed that the droop in the inlet pressure profiles increase with an increase in the pore volume ratio. This is the first attempt to quantitatively validate the previous theories on the unsaturated flow.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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