Composites. Part A: applied science and manufacturing vol:40 issue:3 pages:244-250
The capability to simulate the flow of resin through a porous reinforcement by FE modelling has become very important for designing RTM production processes for high-performance composite parts. The key parameter in RTM flow simulations is the fibre reinforcement permeability. The measurement of this material parameter is still not standardized and many different set-ups have been proposed. Recently, a stereolithography technique was used to produce a textile-like solid specimen with anisotropic permeability, designed as a reference for calibration and comparison of permeability measurement set-ups and for validation of numerical permeability computation software. Unlike real textiles, the permeability properties of such reference specimens do not vary from test to test. Excellent repeatability of the experiments is achieved. When used for benchmarking, any discrepancy between different measurements on this specimen must be attributed to the set-up and data processing.
This paper presents the first experimental measurements of the permeability of such reference specimens, obtained with a 2D central injection rig. The measured values, with principal components of the 2D permeability tensor of 2.47±0.09×10-9 m2 and 5.44±0.22×10-9 m2, are in good agreement with the values predicted using numerical permeability computation software. Statistics
from a series of measurements using the same set-up show that the precision of the permeability identification depends on the data processing procedure. An approach which incorporates a numerical model that is also valid after the fluid reached an edge of the reinforcement performs significantly better than the approach, based on an analytical approximation, which was used before.