In the process of resin transfer molding, small clearances may exist between the fiber preform and the mold edges because of loose edge fiber bundles, ill fitting size, or deformation of the fiber preform. The clearance results in a preferential resin flow path during the mold filling stage. This edge flow may disrupt the flow pattern and cause incomplete wetting of the fiber preform. In the development of a new molding process, unsatisfactory molding results are often observed owing to the non-uniform flow path caused by the edge flow, especially when using a low permeability fiber preform. In this study, an approximate model is developed to describe the edge flow, which combines with a flow simulation model to predict filling flow with substantial edge effect. Based on the finite element model for the overall flow simulation, a small channel is defined to connect the edge nodes. This channel represents the edge clearance for the preferential flow path to fill the edge area of the fiber preform. An equivalent permeability based on the size of the edge clearance is used to model the resistance of flow in the channel. The existing finite element model for flow simulation can be used directly with the edge flow model without any modification of the mesh to account for the effect of the edge clearance. This will facilitate the design effort in studying the edge effect for different sizes of edge clearance. Experimental results to validate the proposed model are also presented.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Mechanics of Materials