Resin transfer molding (RTM) finishes the resin impregnation and composite fabrication at the same time. It simplifies the process for composites fabrication and has the advantages of automation, low cost, and versatile design of fiber reinforcement. Therefore, the RTM process is widely used in the architecture, automotive, and aerospace industries. However, in the RTM process, resin must flow through the fiber reinforcement in the planar direction, which, in some cases such as fabrications of large panels, may need a long time for the mold filling. If the part dimension is too large or the fiber permeability is too low, the mold filling process may not be able to complete before the resin gels. Therefore, some modification for the RTM process is necessary in order to reduce the mold filling time. In the compression transfer molding, the mold opens a small gap for the resin to fill in between fiber mats and the mold, and then compresses the fiber reinforcement to be impregnated by the resin in the thickness direction. In this way, since resin is forced into the fiber reinforcements in the thickness direction, the damage of the fibers will be minimized. In addition, the mold filling time will be reduced due to the different flow path of the resin inside the mold. This study explored the possibility of using the compression transfer molding process and also identified the key parameters regarding the process.
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