Prediction of process-induced void formation in anisotropic Fiber-reinforced autoclave composite parts


A numerical methodology is proposed to predict void content and evolution during autoclave processing of thermoset prepregs. Starting with the initial prepreg void content, the void evolution model implements mechanisms for void compaction under the effect of the applied pressure, including Ideal Gas law compaction, and squeeze flow for single curvature geometries. Pressure variability in the prepreg stack due to interactions between applied autoclave pressure and anisotropic material response are considered and implemented. A parametric study is conducted to investigate the role of material anisotropy, initial void content, and applied autoclave pressure on void evolution during consolidation of prepregs on a tool with single curvatures. The ability of the model to predict pressure gradient through the thickness of the laminate and its impact on void evolution is discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17


  1. 1.

    Chandrakala K, Vanaja A, Rao R (2009) Storage life studies on RT cure glass—epoxy prepregs. J Reinf Plast Compos 28(16):1987–1997

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Herrmann A, Zahlen P, Zuardy I (2005) Sandwich structures technology in commercial aviation. In: Thomsen OT, Bozhevolnaya E, Lyckegaard A (eds) Sandwich structures 7: advancing with sandwich structures and materials. Springer Netherlands, pp 13–26

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Kardos J. L., Duduković M. P., Dave R. (2005) Void growth and resin transport during processing of thermosetting — Matrix composites. Epoxy resins and composites IV. Advances in polymer science, vol 80. Springer

  4. 4.

    Lightfoot SC, Wisnom MR, Potter K (2013) A new mechanism for the formation of ply wrinkles due to sheer between plies. Composites Part A 49:139–147

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Potter K, Khan B, Wisnom MR, Bell T, Stevens J (2008) Variability, fiber waviness and misalignment in the determination of the properties of composite materials and structures. Composites Part A 39(9):1343–1354

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Bloom LD, Wang J, Potter KD (2013) Damage progression and defect sensitivity: an experimental study of representative wrinkles in tension. Composites Part B 45(1):449–458

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Hsiao HM, Daniel IM (1996) Effect of fiber waviness on stiffness and strength reduction of unidirectional composites under compressive loading. Compos Sci Technol 56(5):581–593

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Garnich MR, Karami G (2004) Finite element for stiffness and strength of wavy fiber composites. J Compos Mater 38(4):273–292

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Karami G, Garnich MR (2005) Effective moduli and failure consideration for composites with periodic fiber waviness. Compos Struct 67(4):461–475

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Hubert P, Poursartip A (1998) A review of flow and compaction modelling relevant to thermoset matrix laminate processing. J Reinf Plast Compos 17(4):286–318

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Fernlund G, Griffith J, Courdji R, Poursartip A (2002) Experimental and numerical study of the effect of caul-sheets on corner thinning of composite laminates. Composites Part A 33(3):411–426

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Naji MI, Hoa SV (2000) Curing of thick angle-bend thermoset composite part: curing process modification for uniform thickness and uniform fiber volume fraction distribution. J Compos Mater 34(20):1710–1755

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Li Y, Li M, Gu Y, Zhang Z (2009) Numerical and experimental study on the effect of lay-up type and structural elements on thickness uniformity of L-shaped laminates. Appl Compos Mater 16(2):101–115

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Wang X, Zhang Z, Xie F, Li M, Dai D, Wang F (2009) Correlated rules between complex structure of composite components and manufacturing defects in autoclave molding technology. J Reinf Plast Compos 28(22):2791–2803

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Li M (2001) Optimal curing of thermoset composites: thermochemical and consolidation considerations. PhD thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  16. 16.

    Mélanie B (2010) Out-of-autoclave manufacturing of complex shape composite laminates. McGill University, Montreal, Manufacturing

  17. 17.

    Xin CB, Gu YZ, Li M, Luo J, Li YX, Zhang ZG (2011) Experimental and numerical study on the effect of rubber mold configuration on the compaction of composite angle laminates during autoclave processing. Composites Part A 42(10):1353–1360

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Johnston A (1997) An integrated model of the development of process-induced deformation in autoclave processing of composite structures. Ph.D. thesis, The University of British Columbia

  19. 19.

    Hubert P, Vaziri R, Poursartip A (1999) A two-dimensional flow model for the process simulation of complex shape composite laminates. Int J Numer Meth Eng 44(1):1–26 86

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Min L, Yanxia L, Yizhuo G (2008) Numerical simulation flow and compaction during the consolidation of laminated composites. Wiley Intersci Soc Plast Eng 29(5):560–568 87

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Dave R, Kardos JL, Dudukovic MP (1987) A model for resin flow during composite processing: part 1-general mathematical development. Polym Compos 8(1):29–38 88

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Gutowski TG, Cai Z, Bauer S, Boucher D (1987) Consolidation experiments for laminate composites. J Compos Mater 21(7):650–669 89

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Li M, Li Y, Zhang Z, Gu Y (2008) Numerical simulation flow and compaction during the consolidation of laminated composites. Polym Compos 29(5):560–568 90

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Li M, Charles L, Tucker III (2002) Modelling and simulation of two-dimensional consolidation for thermoset matrix composites. Compos A 33(6):877–892 91

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Dong C (2011) Model development for the formation of resin-rich zones in composites processing. Compos A 42(4):419–424

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Simacek P, Advani SG, Gruber M, Jensen B (2013) A non-local void filling model to describe its dynamics during processing thermoplastic composites. Composites Part A 46(1):154–165

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work is supported by Composites Automation, LLC and the United States Naval Air and Warfare Center under Prime Contract No. N68335-17-C-0093 administrated by Dr. Suresh G. Advani. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official US Naval Air Warfare Center position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation. The authors also declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bamdad Barari.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Barari, B., Simacek, P., Yarlagadda, S. et al. Prediction of process-induced void formation in anisotropic Fiber-reinforced autoclave composite parts. Int J Mater Form 13, 143–158 (2020).

Download citation


  • Void prediction
  • Prepreg
  • Anisotropic prepreg
  • Laminate
  • Autoclave process