Permeability measurement of a circular braided preform for resin transfer molding
Permeability of the preform is one of key factors in design of RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) mold, determination of processing conditions, and modeling of flow in the mold. According to previous studies, permeability measured in the unsaturated fiber mats are higher than that in the saturated fiber mats by about 20 % because of the capillary pressure. In this study, permeabilities of several fiber preforms are measured for both saturated and unsaturated flows. A saturated experiment of radial flow has been adopted to measure the permeability of anisotropic fiber preforms with high fiber content, i.e., circular braided preforms. In this method, four pressure transducers are used to measure the pressure distribution. Permeabilities in different directions are determined and the experimental results show a good agreement with the theory. Since permeability is affected by the capillary effect, permeability should be measured in the unsaturated condition for the textile composites to be manufactured under lower pressure as in the Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM).
KeywordsPermeability Circular braided preform Resin transfer molding Saturated flow Unsaturated flow
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